March Recipe of the Month: Grilled Sardines with Ajo Blanco and Fingerling Potatoes

March 7, 2019

Grilled Sardine

Sardines, whole

Extra-virgin olive oil

Garlic cloves



Salt and pepper to taste

Fillet sardines, remove pin bones, and set in a shallow pan.  Cover with evoo, herbs and crushed garlic.

For service, remove from the marinade, pat dry, season, and grill skin side down for 85% of the cooking.  Kiss the grill with the other side and remove to be plated.  Season with lemon juice.


Ajo blanco:     

1 cup blanched almonds

3 cups cold water

1-2 cloves garlic – to taste

225 g white crustless bread

1.5 tsp sherry vinegar

1.5 Tbsp evoo

Lightly, yes, lightly (!) toast half of the almonds.  Blend almonds, water and garlic in a blender until milky.  Add the bread, and blend until very smooth.  Season with salt, and blend in the vinegar and evoo.  Pass through a chinois.  Rewarm for service, adjusting consistency and seasoning as required.



Slice grapes into thin rounds close to service.  Brush with lemon juice to prevent oxidation.


Fingerling Potatoes:

Thinly slice the potatoes and blanch in simmering water to al dente.  Reheat in water for service – this can be done in batches.


Chorizo oil:

0.5 piece chorizo

1 cups oil

Red finger chili (seeds removed)



Dry chili

Red pepper

Chop all ingredients and warm gently to infuse flavour and colour.  Let stand overnight, and strain through a filter.


Chorizo chimichurri:

Chorizo oil

Chorizo brunoise

Flat leaf Parsley, finely chopped – to taste

Aged balsamic vinegar – to taste

Salt and pepper – to taste.

Finely brunoise the remaining sausage.  This will be mixed with the chorizo oil and chopped parsley prior to service.  Season with salt, pepper and aged balsamic to taste.

Place a small pool of ajo blanco in the centre of your plate.  Mix the warm fingerlings and grapes in a bowl with a few drop of the chorizo oil and place these on one side of the sauce.  The sardine fillet will be laid across the two.  Drizzle some of the chorizo chimichurri across the tail end of the fish.  Serve.


Recipe by Chef Mike Booth

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