The zesty lemon and fragrant Greek basil complement the delicate taste of fresh sardines to create a dish bursting with Mediterranean flavours. Ideally enjoyed whilst soaking up the sun on holiday, but equally as delicious when eaten in the cooler climate of England!
Nutritional values will depend on the size of fish.
- 8 whole fresh sardines, gutted and cleaned – the fishmongers at Waitrose are always very helpful if you would rather not do this yourself. Or, you could use canned instead.
- 2 lemons
- A large handful of fresh Greek basil, finely chopped (it’s worth choosing the Greek variety for its bold flavour).
- 1½ tablespoons grass-fed butter / ghee
- 8-10 black olives
- Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan).
- Grease a large ceramic dish using half the butter.
- Finely grate the lemons and add the zest to a small bowl with the chopped basil. Briefly mix. Slice the middle of the lemons into thin rounds, saving the ends.
- Fill each sardine with a small amount of the lemon and basil mixture.
- Place the sardines into the dish along with the lemon slices and black olives. Break the remaining butter into small knobs and place on top of each sardine. Squeeze the saved lemon ends over the sardines, and sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt.
- Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked. Halfway through cooking, should there be a lot of liquid in the bottom of the dish, drain the vast majority of it and return to the oven.
- Serve with extra Greek basil.