Sardines: their characteristics, properties and benefits

A humble food? If anything, a superfood! Sardines are one of the most common fish in our seas and also an ingredient with unique qualities.

More and more often, we hear people talk about super foods. Foods with special characteristics with beneficial features and both nutritional and healing properties. There are, in fact, foods that have greater properties than others and are recommended for a healthy and balanced diet.

Sardines have unique properties and are actually one of these super foods and, fortunately for us, they're one of the most common and most fished species in the Mediterranean Sea.

Sardines. Concentrated properties and benefits

The sardine, or pilchard, is referred to as a ‘blue fish’ because of the coloration of its scales, blue with silver highlights, and also because at certain times of the year it inhabits the clear blue waters near the coast.

The ready availability of sardines in our seas and their consequent affordability have led them to be classed as a ‘humble food’, but they’re actually not in any way humble... they’re actually a health food. Like all blue fish, sardines are an oily fish, with countless beneficial properties: they’re a source of protein, vitamins and minerals.

When drained, 100 grams of sardines in oil contain:

- About 25 grams of protein, the high biological value type;
- about 11 grams of fat, of which a major portion (45%) is made up of polyunsaturated fatty acids;
- 1.2 grams of carbohydrates;
- a significant variety of minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium, as well as vitamins, particularly B vitamins;
- about 200 calories.

A long-standing staple of the Mediterranean Diet, sardines are an ingredient with a highly beneficial nutritional profile as they're so rich in essential fatty acids.

Our Sardines in Olive Oil

Made according to our traditional recipe, our Sardines in Olive Oil preserve the intense flavor of freshly caught fish.

The real strength of our sardines lies in their simplicity: caught in the Mediterranean Sea during the summer, they’re processed straight away to fully preserve the typical, valuable features of the Sardina pilchardus species. After processing, they keep their bright silver color, their rich, meaty texture and their intense flavor, and don't require any further cooking or preparation.

Tasty, versatile and handy to have in the cupboard all year round, our Sardines in Olive Oil are a great substitute for fresh fish and, thanks to their balanced taste, they go well with any recipe.

Serving sardines: three simple, scrumptious recipes

On their own, laid simply on a crispy bruschetta, or paired with other ingredients, our Sardines in Olive Oil are a delight for the palate. They can lend personality to quick dishes, like salads or a pasta dishes, or add the finishing touch to more complex, sophisticated meals. Here are a few ideas to get you inspired.

Crostini with Sardines in Olive Oil and Zucchini. A straightforward dish for those improvised aperitifs and to end the day in full flavor. It only takes a few ingredients and a few minutes to make. Wash the zucchini, then slice into thin strips and grill or roast in a pan. Meanwhile, toast the sliced bread, cut the mozzarella into small cubes and slightly drain the sardines. Got your ingredients ready? We just need to assemble them: take a slice of toast, add mozzarella on top, then grilled zucchini and then our Sardines and then ... buon appetito!

Citrus fruit Risotto with Sardines in Olive Oil. A main course that is the fruit of a truly unique combination. Heat 50 grams of sardines in 4 tablespoons of our Pure Olive Oil until they soften, then add the rice, toasting it over a high heat. Pour in the white wine and let it evaporate, then start cooking the risotto by adding the vegetable stock a little at a time. After 15-17 minutes, the risotto will be ready. Add a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Delicato for a velvety texture along with the lemon and orange zest. Finally, garnish with thin citrus fruit slices and some Sardines.

Pizza with Olives, onions, capers and Sardines in Olive Oil. A delicious recipe that's a little different to traditional pizza, but perfect for any occasion. Make the pizza base by kneading 500 g of wholemeal flour with 30 g of natural yeast, water, milk, Extra Virgin Olive oil and salt. Let the dough rise for about 3 hours, then roll it out into a baking tray and cover with Basil Tomato Sauce , Pitted Olives, capers, thinly sliced onions and our Sardines in Olive Oil, previously chopped. Sprinkle with some oregano and finely sliced fresh green chili peppers. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Get inspired with more Sardine recipes on our website’s Recipe section.