Grilled Sardines (from ‘The Camping Cookbook’ by Annie Bell)

Grilled Sardines (from ‘The Camping Cookbook’ by Annie Bell)


15 Minutes








Contains Nuts, Gluten Free, Atkins, Coeliacs

Making this recipe


  • 8 good-sized sardines, cleaned and scaled
  • 6 tablespoons Camping Marinade (see method)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Moroccan Spice Blend

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This recipe is from acclaimed cook and food writer Annie Bell’s great book ‘The Camping Cookbook’. We are delighted that Annie has used five of our spice blends in recipes throughout the book and has very kindly allowed us to share this one with you on our website.

“Taking in the scent of sardines grilling out of doors is one of the best ways of transporting yourself to some warm Mediterranean shore. It’s a fingers-in feast with a juicy tomato salad and some buttered brown bread, or perhaps a couscous salad if the weather suggests it.

Sardines are very delicate little fish – one reason why some fishmongers won’t gut them for you (though it’s worth asking) – and they also tend to emerge from a barbecue looking a little ragged, which I don’t mind, but one of those fish clamps will preserve their silvery form and saves on turning them individually, in which case you may need to allow an extra minute or so. The grill plate of a Cobb also offers a non-stick surface and leaves the sardines intact.

You can ask your fishmonger to scale the sardines for you, though they’ll probably still need a good wash to completely remove the scales. Pat them dry. Pour the Camping Marinade over the sardines in a large bowl, scatter over the Moroccan Spice Blend and turn the fish to coat them using your hands. Grill on a covered barbecue for a few minutes each side, until golden and the fish comes away from the backbone (Kit: Barbecue, fish clamp optional).

* Annie’s ‘Camping Marinade’ (good for a couple of meals for 3 to 4 people):
– 100ml lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)
– 150ml extra virgin olive oil
– 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed to a paste
– 1 teaspoon sea salt

Combine all the ingredients in an airtight container and shake before use. Store in a cool place.

(This marinade is perfect as it stands, you need go no further in dressing meat or fish for the grill. But equally you can use it as a building block, by adding herbs such as thyme, oregano or marjoram, rosemary or herbes de Provence. Or you can add one of the suggested spice blends from Annie’s Camping Spice Kit to whisk you to the shores of Morocco or to the Middle East. Either way, this means you are effectively working with only two ingredients while you are cooking).”

Annie Bell spent several years as cookery writer for Vogue, then as food writer on the Independent. She currently writes for the Mail on Sunday’s YOU magazine, and is a contributor to Country Living and Waitrose Food Illustrated. She was winner of the Guild of Food Writers’ Cookery Writer of the Year in 2003.

** Recipe taken from The Camping Cookbook by Annie Bell, copyright Annie Bell 2010 **

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