For an extra flourish, it’s fun to cook sardines (any fish, really) on large fig leaves. After cooking the sardines on one side, simply lay the leaves on the grill and place two fish, cooked side up, on top of each leaf to finish cooking. As well as being attractive, the leaves add a subtle fruity perfume when they hit the heat.
Fresh sardines are also touted as a sustainable fish choice, preferable to larger fish that are higher on the food chain, such as tuna and swordfish, which are overfished and have high mercury levels. Currently, sardines from the Pacific are recommended, available year-round, although there are occasional hiatuses in fishing to allow stocks to replenish. Sardines are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, too.
Most important, they are extremely delicious.
Recipe: Simple Grilled Sardines