This recipe from Star Fish, by Daisy Jones, R349, (Quivertree Publications), lends itself to braaiing and grilling in the oven. The combination of chopped olives, parsley, garlic and orange zest cuts through and complements the natural oiliness of the fish


  • 8 large or 12 small fresh sardines, scaled and gutted
  • 3 good pinches sea salt
  • large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 150g cracked green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, quartered


  1. If the fish need to be descaled, run them under water and rub them with your hands as you would a bar of soap. The scales will fall off and those left behind will be easily visible.
  2. If they have to be gutted, make a slit up the length of the belly with a sharp knife or scissors. Wash out the inside of the fish under running water and cut off the fins with scissors. (A fishmonger could easily do all of this for you.)
  3. Pat the sardines dry with kitchen towel.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the sardines or pilchards with the sea salt, cover and chill for about 30 minutes.
  5. Combine the parsley, garlic, orange zest and olives, and also chill.
  6. If you’re braaiing, light the fire a good half an hour before you intend to cook. If you are opting for the grill, turn it to a high heat 5 minutes before you wish to cook.
  7. Grill the fish for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until lightly charred but still juicy inside.
  8. Sprinkle with the parsley mixture and serve with lemon.