Grilled Sardines, Orange & Chilli Gastrique w/ Mount Zero Olive Oil

Julianne Blum, Julie Restaurant, Serves 4


12 sardines, whole and gutted
3 long red chillies
2 Tbsp brown sugar
200g castor sugar 
50ml white wine vinegar
160ml orange juice
40ml lemon juice 
50ml Mount Zero Frantoio Extra Virgin Olive oil
2Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Flake sea salt 


To make the gastrique: 

Coat the red chillis in olive oil, salt brown sugar and a good pinch of salt.

Roast in a 180-degree oven until the chillies are dark and caramelise (around 10 minutes). Cover in a bowl with cling film to soften. After 5 minutes, the chillies should have softened. Remove the stem and chop very finely, mixing in some olive oil to form a paste. You can also do this in a small food processor.  

In a heavy-bottomed pot, caramelise the sugar into a dark caramel over a low-medium flame. Reduce heat to low and add the orange and lemon juice – be careful, it will spit! Reduce the syrup by a third.

Take the syrup off the stove and add the white wine vinegar, chilli paste and very finely chopped parsley. 

To cook the sardines:

Heat a heavy-based grill skillet until it is very hot (or fire up the barbie!)

Cover the sardines in olive oil and salt, lay onto the pan or bbq and char on one side. Do not move the sardine until a good crust has formed. 

Carefully flip the sardine over to cook the other side. This whole process should only take 3 to four minutes. 

Remove from the grill and douse the cooked sardines liberally in the gastrique.

Finish with a liberal lick of Mount Zero Frantoio Extra Virgin Olive Oil and an extra sprinkle of salt.

Serve hot with some garlic aioli for dipping. they are great on their own too!

Julianne Blum
"Pair this delicious dish with a lemon and garlic aioli, or mix through a salad to make a more substantial side or light summer meal. The chilli gastrique is delicious on a number of things and will last in the fridge for up to a month." - Julianne Blum

Recipe Ingredients from the Mount Zero Range