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Visiting the farmers’ Market and Grilled Sardines

Sandwiched SardinesWhen we go to “laiki” (the farmers’ market) I always end up with tons of vegetables, herbs, fruit etc.    My husband and I usually go together, pass by most of the stalls and see and compare prices and on our way back I buy from those I have spotted, who have the best quality and price.  I usually end up with tons of things but I try and make good use of them, while they are still fresh, so coming back home from the market I have a lot of work to do and I can’t complain, my husband always helps me.

In Greece, they also sell fish at the farmers’ market, so if I buy fish, I ask the fish monger to scale and gut the fish and I usually cook the fish on that same day as it should be eaten fresh.

Yesterday, sardelles (sardines) were quite cheap, 5 Euro a kilo, so I bought a kilo but they do not clean the small fish so coming back from the market before cleaning the fish, I washed and put the red sweet peppers in the oven to grill them and by the time they were ready I had the fish prepared.

The roasted peppers were supposed to be made and preserved but they were so sweet and delicious that half of them disappeared from the very first day.   You may find the recipe for the Greek Roasted Peppers here.

Just to give you an idea here is what else had to be done.  Cherries were quite expensive last week but this week they were around 4 Euros a kilo, so when I found a good quality at 2.50 Euros a kilo it was a good opportunity to make some spoon sweet, as the cherry season is not long and in case the forecast for bad weather proves to be true,  the prices will go up again, so  I bought 2 kilos cherries.  Cherries are very delicate, so they couldn’t wait until the next day, so I washed them, removed the stems and left it in lime for two hours and then it had to be washed again and be pitted.   My husband took over the green beans, which again was cheap, so I bought 2 kilos.  He did the peeling and washing.  Half of it went into the refrigerator for today’s lunch and half  in the deep freezer for another meal. Apart from the watermelon and cherries I bought apricots and some plums called ‘vanilies’.  I bought a bunch of silverbeet, black-eyed peas from Evros, (these will be cooked on Friday), green onions, parsley, dill, fennel, parsley.  I think that’s all!!!

Why am I writing all this?   Well to begin with, the same thing happens every Tuesday, perhaps with different products.   It’s probably the worse day of the week, as there are so many things to be done. I make a lot of new recipes which however, cannot be posted and when I post the recipes two or three weeks later, it’s impossible to remember details.  However, all the recipes I post are recipes which we like and of course there are recipes with which if  I am not pleased, these will never be posted until I get it right.

I have recipes from 2007 which I have not posted and will probably not post unless I cook them again and take new pictures.  For this reason I am going to try and post whatever I make each day and see how this works out.



Sardines are rich in Omega 3 fats which are considered to be very healthy for the heart.


This time of the year Sardines are in abundance and are affordable and a popular choice everything being so expensive.

If you cannot grill over charcoal  like many people living in apartments, you can also grill them in the oven.

Another way to make sardines is to fillet and marinate them the same way like gavros (anchovies).

Marinated Sardines


Marinated Sandwiched Sardines, Recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Marinating time:   1 hour

Cooking time: 20 minutes


Marinade Ingredients:


  • 1/2 kilo fresh sardines
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Oregano

For filling:

  • 4 tablespoons coriander pesto or other pesto of your choice
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dill, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Extra Lemon juIce to sprinkle on top as well as parsley.


  1. Scale the sardines and cut the head pulling out the guts.  Wash them and drain them.  With a filleting knife cut it in the belly and remove spine with any remaining guts.   Wash again and strain.  Place them in a bowl in one layer and add olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. Cover with cling film and let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  3. Finely cut all the vegetables and mix with the pesto.
  4. Open the sardines flat and press them with your fingers to become as flat as possible.  Add a tablespoon of filling and sandwich with another sardine.
  5. Preheat your barbeque or light your coals until they have no flame.
  6. Clean and oil a grilling grate.
  7. Put the sardines on the grill over direct heat until well-charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the sardines over and grill until charred for 2 more minutes
  8. Alternatively, preheat your oven at 180oC, setting it on the grill.  Line your baking tin with parchment paper.
  9. Place on the baking tin and when done add the leftover marinade on the sardines.
  10. Grill for ten minutes on one side and ten minutes on the other.
  11. Serve as a side dish to dried legumes or as a mezes with ouzo or tsipouro.

Grilled Sardines


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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15 Responses

  1. Wow, that’s cheap! Your sardinesy dish looks so delicious! Holiday food…



  2. You’re a very busy shopper Ivy….as I imagine you would be with a family to feed etc… The sardines sound interesting. I’ve never had them grilled before. As for the piperies…well these never last long enough when I’m around. In regards to posting…just do whatever you feel comfortable with. I always find your cooking and recipes very informative.

    Peter G’s last blog post..Baked Apples “Baklava”

  3. Ivy you sure are busy on the day uou go to the farmers market! I love the roasted peppers!

    Bunny’s last blog post..Your Invited To Spring Brunch!

  4. MMm. if you serve them in garlic-flavored crostini, it’d make wonderful tapas.

    Jackie @ PhamFatale.com’s last blog post..Goat Ricotta Cheese and Pine Nut Stuffed Baby Zucchini

  5. I have to say that I don’t really like sardines on their own but sandwiched with fresh herbs and grilled, these sound great.

  6. Ciao ! wonderful sardines recipe !! I’ll visit the market trying not to buy too much !

    natalia’s last blog post..BBA Artos Greek Celebration Bread

  7. Gosshhhh… the sardines are so freshhhhh!!! I haven’t try my hands on this tiny fish. I read a lot about this small fishes and I’d seen in fresh markets in Belgium and Southern France selling them with variety of pickles and condiments. 🙂

  8. I always got sardines in can. If I could get them fresh, I possibly just cook them with ginger, onions and soya sauce…..

    Angie’s Recipes’s last blog post..Peanut Butter Bread Rolls

  9. Here to me and my hubby goes to the market togehter and we have on wenesday and saturday, eventhough we dont go every week.
    Cleaning those small fish would have been eally a lot of work.
    Here the cheries are geting less too, still i had to pay 6 euros for a kilo.

  10. Ivy, I do the same “laiki” ritual when in Greece…up and down, then comparing prices, sampling before I buy. I look forward to fresh fish in Greece and sardelles are a fave. Love it in the fourno.

    Peter’s last blog post..Grilled Halloumi With a Fig-Ouzo Sauce

  11. Hello Ivy, thanks for comments on my blog.
    Your fish and veg/fruit seem much cheaper than here, suppose that’s the problem with living on an island..
    Now, a question, please tell whether there is a different name for kafkalithres and myronia?? We don’t recognise them here in Crete and I want to make spanakopita.
    Thank you

  12. Ivy

    Thanks everybody for your comments.

    Jude, kaflakithres and Myronia are two different things. You can see the translation and photos in my last post on spanakopita here http://www.kopiaste.org/2009/05/homemade-spanakopita-from-scratch/

  13. Your sardines look delicious! Your market day does sound busy. I bought cherries last week too, but I actually didn’t mind cleaning and pitting them–it was kind of fun.

    lisaiscooking’s last blog post..Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Ring

  14. Farmers markets are so much fun! The stuffed grilled sardines sound excellent with fresh herbs!

    Natasha – 5 Star Foodie’s last blog post..Liquid Mango "Ravioli"

  15. I like sardines a lot. I love going to the market and letting what’s available suggest what to make. And I like sweet bell peppers too!