Grilled Sardines with Slow-Cooked Peppers

Theo Randall Sardines

Eating oily fish is top of every healthy eating agenda and this quick and easy Theo Randall recipe is great for older (and more adventurous) kids who aren’t fazed by the bones. The roasted red peppers are simple to prepare making this is a great dish to serve as part of a summer family barbecue.

Theo Randall Sardines

Sardines grilled with fennel sticks and slow-cooked red peppers.

30 minutes. Serves 2 adults.

Sardines are usually great value for money and very good for you. Stuffing fennel sticks in the cavity of the fish flavours the sardine flesh perfectly. The best way to cook the fish is on a barbecue (don’t put the sardines on the hottest part or they will flame due to their natural fish oils), but you can also use a ridged grill pan.

For the peppers

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

3 red peppers, seeded and cut into 2cm pieces

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

1 glass of red wine

small bunch of basil

For the sardines

6 fresh sardines, cleaned and gutted

200g herb fennel sticks or 50g herb fennel fronds

extra virgin olive oil, for greasing

sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

lemon wedges, to serve

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the red peppers and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and red wine. Leave to cook gently for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season and add the roughly torn basil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large ridged grill pan until it is very hot. Rub with a little olive oil on a clean cloth so the pan is clean and non-stick. Stuff each sardine with fennel sticks or fronds and season inside and out with salt. Place the fish in the hot pan and chargrill for about 2 minutes on each side until cooked through (you may need to cook a little longer, depending on size). Alternatively, cook the sardines on the barbecue.
  3. Serve the sardines with lemon wedges, and with the slow-cooked peppers alongside.

Theo Randall Family FoodExtracted from My Simple Italian by Theo Randall. Published by Ebury Press. Photography by Mike Lusmore.

Read our interview with Theo on family cooking or see more recipes from his new book.