All Friends on Deck

Grilled Sardines With Tuscan Bread

The pepper-tomato mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated. Heat gently in the microwave or a saucepan or bring just to room temperature before serving.

8    whole sardines, scaled and cleaned
    (do not use canned)
1    lemon
8    sprigs fresh marjoram
1/4 c. olive oil
2    medium onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2    red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2    medium tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2    tbsp. capers, drained
Vegetable or canola oil (for grill grate)
2    cloves garlic, smashed
1    loaf  Tuscan or French bread, cut into 8 slices

Rinse sardines under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Half an hour before grilling, sprinkle sardines generously with kosher salt and pepper; drizzle with lemon juice. Place marjoram sprig in cavity of each fish. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over high heat, add onions, and immediately reduce heat to medium. Sauté onions until soft, but not browned. Add peppers and tomatoes, and continue cooking until soft. Remove from heat, stir in capers, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Brush bread slices on both sides with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and rub with garlic cloves. Brush grill grate with vegetable or canola oil and grill sardines over high heat, 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on size. Grill bread slices until slightly charred, about 1 minute per side. Spoon pepper-tomato mixture onto grilled bread slices and place a grilled sardine on each. Serves 8.