Sardines on a Bed of Breadcrumbs, Raisins and Pine Nuts

Brian Turner's flavour-packed way with sardines, accompanied by a cheesy Jerusalem artichoke gratin, will get your taste buds tingling
By Brian Turner
Sardines on a Bed of Breadcrumbs, Raisins and Pine Nuts
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 12 sardines, trimmed and gutted
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 225 g freshwhite breadcrumbs
  • 50 g raisins
  • 50 g pine kernels
  • 1 lemon, grated zest
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

For the sauce

  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, skinned, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp tarragon

For the Jerusalem artichoke gratin

  • 550 g jerusalem artichokes
  • 50 g butter
  • 25 g flour
  • 150 ml milk
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 100 g wensleydale cheese, grated
  • 1 egg yolk


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2. To make the sardines; season with salt and pepper and dip in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and when hot quickly cook the sardines on both sides for a few minutes until browned. Remove the sardines from the pan.

4. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and add 200g of the breadcrumbs. Cook until starting to colour, then add the raisins, pine nuts, lemon zest and shallots and mix well.

5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the parsley.

6. Spoon the mixture into a large ovenproof dish. Place the sardines on top in a single layer and sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs.

7. Bake for 15 minutes until the sardines are cooked.

8. To make the sauce; heat the olive oil gently until warm and then remove from the heat.

9. Add the spring onions, tomatoes and lemon juice. Add the tarragon and season with salt and pepper.

10. Serve the sardines with the sauce poured over and around.

11. To make the Jerusalem artichoke gratin; butter the medium ovenproof dish. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

12. Cut the artichokes into evenly sized pieces. Put into a pan and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.

13. Cook for 3-5 minutes until just tender but still with bite. Drain and transfer them to a bowl of cold water to cover.

14. Melt half the butter in a medium pan and add the flour, stirring constantly.

15. Heat the milk and cream and when hot, gradually add to the butter and flour mixture, stirring all the time to avoid lumps.

16. Remove from the heat and stir in three quarters of the cheese and the egg yolk; season to taste with salt and pepper.

17. Slice the artichokes and arrange a layer in the ovenproof dish. Cover with half the cheese sauce.

18. Cover with the remaining artichokes and pour over the rest of the sauce.

19. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top.

20. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling and serve with the sardines and tomato sauce.

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