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Grilled Anchovies Two Ways from the South of France

Eating anchovies is one of life’s guiltless pleasures. I say guiltless because they are affordable, good for you, and very sustainable.  But best of all they simply taste great and are quick to prepare. All that is required is a hot grill, a drizzle of olive oil, and a bright squeeze of fresh lemons. Fresh from the Mediterranean, both anchovies and sardines often feature on menus in the South of France. The easiest way to prepare fresh anchovies and sardines is to throw them on a super hot grill and cook both sides until they are crispy, about two (2) minutes per side.

Mention anchovies to many of your friends, and you will get wrinkled expressions of anguish. And, that is because they have likely encountered only the tiny, salty version that ends up (strangely) on some pizza orders. Sadly, anchovies have both a stigma of being strong-flavoured and hard to clean. Neither is true. In this post, I will walk you through how to clean fresh/frozen anchovies and two of my favourite quick preparations that you will love.

Here is my quick video on how to clean anchovies:

Grilled Anchovies Two Ways

Grilled Anchovies with Feta, Dried Orange, and Fennel

blankChef François de Mélogue
A preparation of anchovies or sardines with Mediterranean-inspired flavours.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Lunch Dish, Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 people


  • 1/4 cup Feta Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Orange Peel chopped fine
  • 2 tsp Fennel Fronds
  • 1 tsp Pastis
  • a pinch Black Pepper
  • a pinch Red Chili Flakes
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Fresh Anchovies or Sardines deboned
  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce


  • In a large bowl, mix the feta, orange zest, fennel, pastis, pepper, chili, and olive oil. Take an extremely small amount of the filling and put inside the anchovies. Grill over a hot charcoal or wood fire until down. Serve in a pool of warm tomato sauce.
Keyword Anchovies, Sardines, Seafood Recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Grilled Anchovies with Preserved Lemon, Thyme, and Breadcrumbs

blankChef François de Mélogue
My online friend Sonia shared her secret recipe for fresh anchovies. The beauty of the preserved lemon with the oily anchovies makes a combination that is incredible to eat.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Lunch Dish, Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 people


  • 1/2 Preserved Lemon chopped fine
  • 2 tsp Fresh Thyme chopped
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Espelette Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Fresh Anchovies or Sardines deboned
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil


  • In a large bowl, mix the lemon, thyme, breadcrumbs, pepper, and olive oil. Equally divide the filling and stuff into anchovies. Cook over a hot charcoal or wood fire until done, about 3 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
Keyword Anchovies, Preserved Lemon, Sardines
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Something Fishy in Marseille:

“C’est la sardine qui a bouché le port de Marseille!”

(A sardine blocked Marseille’s port!)

This local saying is famous throughout France. Another that is less well-known is “Chercher Molinari” (look for Molinari). Both expressions, curiously, come from the same famous disaster that took place in the 18th century. Read about these two expressions from Marseille here.

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Chef François de Mélogue

Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François resides in St Albans, Vermont with his wife Lisa and ten-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris. Francois is a professional photographer specializing in food/product photography, real estate photography and shooting rural landscapes of Vermont and France. Explore his work on

Take a look at his website Simple French Cooking filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Also follow Francois on Medium for more tempting dishes Pistou and Pastis.

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