Pan Seared Sardines with Parsley Pistou

Sardines… some people think of them as oily bait-fish. But, I think of them as totally delicious, heart healthy, whole-body-nourishing food. Especially, when they are paired with the right ingredients.

The oil/fat in sardines is none other than the highly revered omega 3 fatty acids that helps reduce inflammation, enhance mood, and support cardiovascular health. Plus sardines are rich in iodine and selenium that are good for the thyroid, and vitamin D that supports bone health.

So why aren’t people eating more sardines?

I think they get a bad rap because most people think of them as canned stinky little fish.

But, if you pair them with a delicious pistou, like in this recipe I’m sharing with you, they take on a mouth-watering flavor.

I used fresh sardines (not canned) in the recipe below. With a sharp knife and a steady hand, it’s easy to fillet sardines. You can watch how in my Delicious Foods for Heart Health cooking class.

But, if you don’t want the fuss of filleting the sardines yourself, you can buy them canned. Or, if you are worried about potential aluminum toxicity, you can buy sardines in glass jars.

Any way you can get them, just get them and put em’ into your body!

Pan Seared Sardines with Parsley Pistou
Recipe type: Heart Healthy
Cuisine: Food is Medicine
  • 3 whole sardines, filleted (6 fillets)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup parsley, densely packed
  • 1 cup basil, densely packed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ lemon juice, plus zest of 1 lemon
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin oil
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • Sourdough bread, toasted
  • Hot red peppers, diced
  1. On medium/high, heat a non-stick grill pan with a light brushing of olive oil.
  2. Season the sardines with sea salt.
  3. Place into the pan, skin side down and cook 2 minutes.
  4. Flip over and cook additional 1 minute.
  5. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  6. Put parsley, basil, garlic, lemon juice and zest, olive oil and sea salt into a food processor.
  7. Pulse for one minute.
  8. Spoon the pistou onto the sourdough toast.
  9. Top with one or two grilled sardines.
  10. Garnish with minced hot peppers and parsley.