Crispy sardines with chickpeas, fennel and paprika

My favorite way to prepare sardines is to simply grill them on the BBQ with salt, pepper and a quick squeeze of lemon before eating them. When outdoor cooking is not available however, thisĀ  recipe is a good alternative to enjoy sardines and the Mediterranean flavors!

Ingredients (for 2 pers.)

  • 10 cleaned sardines, head and guts removed but the spine still in
  • some flour
  • olive oil
  • 3 gloves of garlic, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 sweet red pepper, cut in small chunks
  • a half fennel bulb, cut in small chunks
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika powder (pimenton dulce)
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 400gr of chickpeas from a car or jar, drained and rinsed with water
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh baguette/bread to serve
    Duration: 20 minutes


  • Pat the sardines dry, using some kitchen paper. Put the flour on a plate, season the sardines with salt and pepper and lightly dust them with the flour.
  • Heat some olive oil in a shallow frying pan and fry the sardines 3 minutes on each side. Remove them from the pan.
  • If necessary, add a bit more oil to the pan, and slowly fry the chopped garlic, sweet red pepper and fennel for 5 minutes. Add the pimenton dulce and fry for another minute
  • Add the glass of white wine, chickpeas and cherry tomatoes and let everything simmer with a cover for about 10 minutes. Taste your creation and add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Place the sardines back on the vegetable mixture and allow them to warm up for 2 minutes before you remove the pan from the gas
  • Finish the dish with the chopped parsley and grated peel from the lemon
  • Serve this dish straight from the pan with some fresh lemon wedges and fresh bread to soak up all the lovely pan juices

What do I drink with this?

With the strong flavor of the pimenton and the nice fatty flavor of the sardine you can go for an Italian Soave, or stay within the Iberian Peninsula by choosing a bottle of fresh Verdejo or Albarinho.