During my childhood my mother used to prepare sardines in the most wonderful way. She would make grilled sardines on the barbecue or fry the fish in olive oil with some horta (edible plants). It was the ultimate summer food! We needed nothing else, it was fantastic! Fair enough, sometimes we would finish the meal with nice and cool watermelon to ‘clean our mouths’, as my parents said. On top of that, we did not have to keep anything for the cat…
Cats don’t like sardines
You see, as a child my mother told me that cats don’t like sardines. “Cats love all other types of fish but not the sardines,” she said. My mother explained that for this reason, we eat the sardines with their heads and tails. I wondered why the cats would not like sardines, but of course I believed my mother.
During one of my cooking lessons in the summer I was preparing grilled sardines with my cooking students and we started talking about it. We decided to test my mother’s theory. We put some sardines on a plate for the cats that every now and then pass by the Odyssey. You can imagine my astonishment when I saw the cats not only eating the sardines, but miaowing for more and licking their lips!!!
Last week I was drinking a coffee with my mother and I asked her about the sardines and the cats. You should have seen her reaction, she laughed so hard she almost had a heart attack. She explained that cats don’t like sardines because we eat everything and there is nothing left for them! So we don’t really know if they like them or not! Nice, and all my life I believed her!!
To also let you enjoy this wonderful summer food, I share with you the recipe for the Grilled Sardines with Lemon-Mint Sauce. I will publish a recipe with fried fish later on this year. And you know….maybe we should not question the wisdom of older people, even if it comes to us in the most peculiar ways!!
Making Grilled Sardines
You start this fish recipe by making the delicious lemon-mint sauce: put the red pepper corns, salt, olive oil and mint in a blender and blend it all for 5 minutes.
Put a bit of salt and a drop of olive oil on the sardines before you grill them. Another option is to put some of the sauce in the sardines before they go on the barbecue. Be sure to save some sauce to put on the sardines when they are grilled!!
Grill the sardines on the barbecue for no longer than 10 minutes, they should be ready very quickly. Serve the grilled sardines with the lovely lemon-mint sauce on top! Enjoy!
Photography Annette Spaan
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