Chilli Garlic Sardines with Lemon Olive Oil

Barbecued fresh sardines really capture the flavour of summer and are ready in minutes.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus marinating (optional) - Cooking time: 4 minutes to 6 minutes - Serves: 2

6 sardines, from the fish service counter, gutted and cleaned
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp Waitrose Lemon Infused Olive Oil
1 unwaxed lemon, cut into wedges

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Butterfly the sardines by removing the heads, trimming the fins and cutting open the fish from the belly to the tail. Open out the fish and place flesh-side down on a chopping board, pressing down firmly along the backbone with your fingers until the fish is flattened.
Turn the fish over and carefully and slowly pull out the backbone, cutting it off at the tail end. Remove any small bones left behind.
Mix the chilli, garlic and oil in a large shallow bowl. Add the sardines and coat well on both sides. If you have time, leave in the fridge to marinate for 10-20 minutes.
Preheat the grill to high or, if cooking on a barbecue, wait until the coals are glowing red under a thin layer of ash. Cook the sardines for about 2-3 minutes on each side until the flesh is opaque. At the same time, grill or barbecue the lemon wedges until starting to char. Serve with a salad of Romaine lettuce, new potatoes and the charred lemon wedges.

Cook's tips
If you prefer, keep the gutted sardines whole. Just score, marinate and cook as above. Try other infused oils such as basil, chilli or garlic as marinades or drizzled over pasta.

Drinks recommendation
Fresh fish and lemon oil will taste even better with a dry, refreshing white with citrus flavours.

Recipe courtesy of Waitrose & Partners
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