Grilled Sardines w/ Preserved Lemon Relish

Makes 2 Servings

Preserved Lemon - Must be prepared at least 4 weeks in advance (but preserved lemon can be purchased)


Preserved Lemon

  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • glass jar
  • salt
  • fresh lemon juice

Lemon Relish

  • ¼ of 1 preserved lemon, diced
  • ¼ tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp roasted bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp parsley, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sherry wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp (about 7-10) saffron threads, crushed
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • pinch of black pepper


  • 4 medium sardines
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


Make Preserved Lemon

  1. Cut 1 whole lemon into quarters and coat with salt. Cover with lemon juice, enough to cover the lemon wedges
  2. Seal the jar and refrigerate 4-6 weeks before using

Prepare Lemon Relish

  1. Combine all relish ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Allow saffron to bloom and flavors to come together (about 1 hour). Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Set aside

Grill Sardines & Serve

  1. Prepare a charcoal grill or heat a grill pan to medium high heat
  2. Clean, rinse and pat dry the sardines. Brush each sardine with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Oil the grill grates or grill pan and grill sardines for 3 minutes on each side. Sardines are finished when the skin easily peels away and the flesh becomes flaky
  3. Garnish with Lemon Relish and serve either hot or at room temperature