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Fresh Sardines with Two-Olive Bread Crumb Crust

Yield 4
If omega-3-rich fresh sardines are hard to find, small bluefish or mackerel fillets can be used instead.


  • 12 fresh whole sardines (about 2 1/2 pounds), heads and bones removed, fish kept intact
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Sicilian green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the broiler. Spread the sardines open on a large baking sheet, skin side down. In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, green and black olives, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Top each sardine with 2 heaping tablespoons of the bread crumbs, pressing them to adhere.

  2. Divide the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil between 2 large nonstick ovenproof skillets. Arrange 6 sardines in each skillet, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.

  3. Set the skillets under the broiler, 1 at a time if necessary, and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden and crisp. Serve the sardines immediately with lemon wedges.

  4. ONE SERVING Calories 380 kcal, Total Fat 4 gm, Saturated Fat 6 gm

  5. Wine Recommendation: The assertive flavors of sardines and olives need a clean, pleasantly sharp white wine for contrast. Look for a Sauvignon Blanc-based French wine, such as the 1996 Comte Lafond Sancerre or the 1997 Michel Lynch Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux.