Summer Sardines

Fresh sardines make a delicious starter in Lesley Waters's simple but flavourful recipe, perfect for a summer's day
By Lesley Waters
Summer Sardines
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 45 mins marinating
  • Effort: medium



  • 12 sardines, cleaned, boned and the heads removed
  • 300 ml white wine vinegar
  • olive oil, for shallow-frying, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp thyme, leaves only
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon wedges


1. Lay the sardines flat and open, flesh side up, in a shallow wide dish. Pour over the vinegar and leave to stand for 45 minutes.

2. Dry the sardines on kitchen paper and fold back into their original shape.

3. In a large frying pan, preheat the olive oil. Shallow fry the sardines for 2-3 minutes each side with the garlic and thyme leaves.

4. Return the cooked sardines to a clean shallow dish. Season with freshly ground black pepper, drizzle over some olive oil and serve hot or cold with lemon wedges.

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