Check out how to make the most out of delicious seasonal sardines, with a few simple tips from Gary O'Hanlon.


  • 2 (120g each) tins sardines in olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 loose cup picked coriander leaves
  • 6 - 8 black olives
  • 3 tsp mini capers
  • 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • white pepper to taste
  • fine breadcrumbs to adjust smoothness if necessary
  • for the red onion mustard seed compote:
  • 3 red onions (peeled & sliced)
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 2-3 oz red wine vinegar
  • dash of tobasco
  • dash of worchester sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp ketchup
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • for the garnish:
  • 1 head baby romaine or kos leaf lettuce
  • 1/4 loose cup of coriander
  • 4/5 berry capers
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 french baguette


  • Season to taste but slightly under season as the ketchup and other ingredients tend to be salty normally.
  • Drain off all the oil from the Sardines.
  • Peel out the bones and remove the skin.
  • Add to a food processor and blend.
  • Add the mayonnaise, coriander, citrus juice, capers and olives.
  • Blend for 3 mins and add pepper to taste.
  • Add a little oil if the mixture isn't wet enough or alternatively add some breadcrumb if its too wet until desired consistency is reached
  • Red onion Mustard Seed Compote
  • Sweat the onions without colour.
  • Add the mustard seeds, tobasco and worchester sauce. When onions are soft, add the red wine vinegar, reduce by half and add the ketchup.
  • Cook for a further 4-5 mins and set aside.
  • Can be served hot or at room temperature.
  • For the Garnish:
  • Brush 2 slices of a good quality French baguette with olive oil.
  • Grill on a pan or griddle pan until slightly scorched or golden.
  • Remove the inner core from the baby romaine leaf and separate 2-3 stems.
  • Chop the coriander and toss with some berry capers and a little lemon juice.
  • Drizzle your serving plate with some high quality aged balsamic, add the 2 pieces of grilled baguette, spoon on or quennelle on the Mousse followed by a spoon of the red onion compote, romaine leaf and sprinkle over with capers and coriander.


Gary's tips: If using sardines in Brine, wash off before use to avoid saltiness. Replace romaine with a cheaper alternative, i.e. Iceberg. Use wholwheat bread for a healthier option or Gluten free bread for Celiac diets (and don't use breadcrumbs in mousse). Replace sardines with smoked mackerel and anchovies for an alternative. Everything can be made a day ahead.

More by Gary O'Hanlon:

Find recipes by keyword:

four live light meals and snacks quick meals