Peppered Sardines with a Green Olive Sauce

Serves 4

I love the Mediterranean feel to this dish: the olive-flavoured sauce perfectly complements the strong flavoured fish with its oily and meaty texture. Serve as they are with crunchy bread or boiled new potatoes.

Marcus' Kitchen


Serves 4

  • 8 fresh sardines, butterflied
  • olive oil
  • freshly picked oregano leaves, to serve
  • sea salt
  • sliced fresh green almonds (optional)

For the pepper seasoning

  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp pink peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp Maldon salt

For the green olive sauce

  • 200g fresh pitted green olives
  • 200g warm (not hot) white chicken stock
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice of white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice of 1/2 lemon


For the Pepper Seasoning

Grind the spices and salt in a mortar with a pestle until finely ground.

For the green olive sauce

Preheat the grill to its highest setting.

Make the green olive sauce in a high-spend blender. Put the pitted olives, chicken stock, olive oil, white bread and garlic in the blender and blitz on full speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth and glossy. Season the olive sauce with the lemon juice and then season with salt to taste.

For the sardines

To cook the sardines, drizzle them with olive oil on both sides and place on a grill tray or baking tray skin side up, then generously season the sardine skin with the pepper mix. Place under the hot grill and cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crisp and the fish cooked through.

To serve, put a spoon of the green olive sauce on four large serving plates and spread it out slightly using the back of the spoon. Remove the peppered sardines from the grill and carefully place 2 sardines skin side up on top of the sauce. Garnish with a few freshly picked oregano leaves, almonds (if using) and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve the remaining green olive sauce on the side.

Find more recipes like this in Marcus' Kitchen by Marcus Wareing.