Grilled sardines are a common menu item at many Greek restaurants, called “tsipourakika” and “ouzadika”, served as an appetizer.
“Tsipouradika:, (pronounced tsee-pouh-RHA-dhee-khaa) and “ouzadika”, (pronounced ou-ZHA_dhee-kha or ouzeri pr. ou-zae-RHEE), are tavernas, where the main alcohol served is tsipouro or ouzo, respectively.
When 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 fresh fish at the farmers’ market, so I have my fish monger from whom I always buy fish. He will scale and gut the fish for me while I do the other shopping and pick it up on my way back.
He always puts it on ice and I usually cook the fish on that same day as it should be eaten fresh.
Of course, living close to the sea we often sea the fishing boats coming to the harbour. Who could resist not buying fish which was caught just a few hours ago?
Yesterday, sardines, called sardelles (pr. sahr-DHAE-lles) were quite cheap, 5 Euro a kilo, so I bought a kilo.
However, the fish mongers do not clean the small fish when they are very busy, 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.
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 cherry 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 enough for us to eat and make the cherry preserve.
Cherries are very delicate, 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 were 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 cherries I bought some apricots, a watermelon and some plums called ‘vanilies’.
I also 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 most difficult day of the week, as there are so many things to be done. However, I love going to the farmers ‘market as with the products I buy, I love making new recipes.
A few things about Sardines
These small fish are packed with nutrients that can be beneficial in the prevention of a number of health conditions.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Sardines are rich in Omega 3 fats which are considered to be very healthy for the heart.
They are packed with vitamins, especially vitamin B12 but also vitamin A and D.
They are rich in calcium. 100 grams of sardines contain 382 mg of calcium, so it’s a good source, especially for those who are lactose intolerant.
Along with Omega 3 fatty acids and Calcium, sardines contain a number of beneficial minerals. These include:
Sardines are also an excellent source of protein. An average sized sardine provides around 9 g of protein and only 55 calories.
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).
See also my other recipe for Dolmades with Sardines.
- 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.
- Cover with cling film and let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Finely cut all the vegetables and mix with the pesto.
- 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.
- Preheat your barbeque or light your coals until they have no flame.
- Clean and oil a grilling grate.
- 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
- Alternatively, preheat your oven at 180oC, setting it on the grill. Line your baking tin with parchment paper.
- Place on the baking tin and when done add the leftover marinade on the sardines.
- Grill for ten minutes on one side and ten minutes on the other.
- Serve as a side dish to dried legumes or as a mezes with ouzo or tsipouro.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 178Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 45mgSodium 104mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 15g
"These values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed."
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