Fresh Sardine Dip
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves 4 starter or light lunch portions. Ideal with fresh crusty French stick, ciabatta or grissini and with a green salad. Keeps for two days chilled in fridge, covered.
Recipe type: Starter or Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 6
  • 8 fresh sardines, deboned,filleted by your fishmonger (or two cans of sardines in olive oil)print button transparent
  • dusting of plain flour (to grill sardines in)
  • zest & juice a lime and a small lemon
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 rounded tbsp capers, and more to garnish
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed, plus a few seeds to garnish
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh, flat-leaf parsley, chopped & more to garnish
  • 2 tbsps mayonnaise, best quality possible
  • freshly-ground sea salt & black pepper
  1. If using tinned sardines, drain off the excess oil, and skip to point 3.
  2. Wash the fresh sardines and clean any bits left from fishmonger filleting. Pat dry, and drizzle a little olive oil on the fish, both skin and flesh sides, then dust lightly with plain flour and shake off excess.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-hot (or BBQ flat plate), then grill the sardines for a couple of minutes each side until lightly cooked through.
  4. When sardines are cool enough to handle, fork off the meat carefully, breaking up into medium-sized chunks (not a mush!), removing any lingering larger bones you spot.
  5. In a bowl, lightly fork in all the ingredients to the sardine meat, ending with the mayonnaise. Chill covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
  6. When serving, fork up gently, then garnish with more citrus zest, capers and flat-leaf parsley and a few dots of extra virgin olive oil.
Recipe by The Red Bistro at