When the Portuguese fishermen bring in fresh caught sardines from their boats some of the sardines become canned to be exported to other countries and the others stay right in Portugal ready for traditional grilling by the Portuguese.
GRILLED SARDINES (Portuguese Style)
25 sardines, fresh, cleaned heads and tails left on
1 cup coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
dash of black pepper
Rinse the sardines in cold water, than drain and dry with paper towels. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of salt on the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange sardines on top of the salt and sprinkle with 1/2 of the remaining salt.
Arrange more sardines and pour remaining salt over the top of the sardines. Cover the sardines and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat a grill to the highest temperature. Rinse the salt off the sardines and blot dry them with a towel. Brush the sardines with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a dash of ground pepper.
Grill the sardines about five minutes on each side. The sardines should be lightly charred on both sides.
Remove sardines from the grill and place on a platter. Serve the sardines with some lemon wedges.
Once you're ready to eat your grilled sardines be certain to remove the head, tails, and bones of the sardines!