Wow. I have found the dish of my dreams, the perfect meal. It's so simple it almost doesn't deserve the name "recipe". It's what I should have made for the Is My Blog Burning? event but I was afraid the dinner guests might not share my enthusiasm for grilled fish. Also, let's be honest: you always want to show off with something fancy for the IMBB? which is a shame because this dish is the proof that simplicity and good products can outshine just about any elaborate recipe. And when you look at these shimmering silver fish, you know you have a good start.
Take 4-6 fresh sardines per person (depending on how hungry you are and the size of the fish) and gut them. Okay, this sounds awful but actually it's pretty easy and I did eight of them in about five minutes. All you need to do is make a slit in the belly of the little fish and pull out all the goo. Rinse the fish, inside and out, under running water and put on a plate. It all comes out easily and will fascinate your cat, if you have one.
Dribble a little olive oil on the fish and then sprinkle with lots of thyme. (I had a plant that died from underwatering and just shook it over the fish - worked great!)
Heat the grill. In the meantime, slice a medium zucchini in thick wedges (about 3/4 inch or 1 cm). Toss them with oil and a little pepper. Once the grill is hot put the zucchini slices on it to start grilling. When one side is done, turn them over and put the fish on the grill. They will cook very quickly - after two minutes turn them over.
Wash a handful of baby tomatoes (fresh from our terrace!) and toss them with olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately on his and hers plates: his with tomatoes, zucchini, fish and hot peppers and hers with tomatoes, olives, zucchini and fish.
Oh and you will surely notice the baked potatoes in my photos: I put some potatoes in the oven about 40 minutes before starting the rest of the dinner and finished them off on the grill.
Aside from starting the potatoes in the oven, the whole dinner took about 20 minutes from start to finish, including all the running back to the kitchen for forgotten items like salt and napkins. And the fish are delicious. You don't have to worry about deboning them as the flesh pulls away from the bones easily. You may end up eating a few small bones but they are like kipper bones: tiny and not lethal. The skin on the fish chars slightly and gives a smoky flavour to the meat and sardines are oily enough that it all remains nice and moist. This is seriously good food: I wished I had made twice as many when it came time to eat and kept going "mmmm" as I was shoveling them down. Even the Critic (who is extremely opposed to working for his food) agreed that they were good. So, too late for the Grilling Is My Blog Burning? you have my entry for Favourite Thing To Grill. Yum!