Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grilled Sardines on a Lovely Summer Evening

Years ago on a visit to Lisbon, I had fresh grilled sardines on the street. Not being a fan of tinned sardines, I was sure I wouldn't like them. Taken off the grill, they were hot, rich and flavorful. I fell under their spell. I couldn't get enough. Over the years when fresh sardines would appear at my fish monger ( rare occasions, very rare occasions) I would buy a few and try to serve them to friends and family. Not everyone thought they were as delicious as I did. In fact my daughter flat out refused to eat them. It never stopped me though.
Anyway, that said. last June when I went to aux Jardins des Thevenets I was invited to Lynn and Olivier's friends for dinner in La Feline. Bernard and Marc and their lovely dog Cali have a beautiful home.
The garden was enchanting. Roses were blooming all along the stone walls and walks.
Over the wall was a Twelfth century church complete with a steeple. It added an air of antiquity to a stylish but traditional home.
That night was a lovely evening filled with champagne, gougeres and yes, grilled fresh sardines!
Bernard was a gracious host opening bottle after bottle of Champagne.
The sardines were absolutely the best I had ever tasted. His recipe consisted of gros fleur de sel. Simple but perfect.
We couldn't eat enough. He found himself at the grill preparing sardines until they were all eaten. "C'est fini!" he declared when they were done.
We finished the evening with a lovely orange tart and Cognac.
As we left the moon was rising, gently highlighting the garden. It had been a perfect "Welcome to France,"
These blogs are getting a little wonky, but bare with me, it will all be Ok in the end!
All text and photos are property of The Gypsy Chef

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