This is a gourmet version of everyone’s standard ‘on toast’ repertoire. Delicious sardines with basil and tomatoes offer flavours of the Med along with our own tasty Denhay bacon made in the luscious West Country make this a step above all other sandwiches…
Serves 2 people Prep 10 minutes Cook 20 minutes
8 sardine fillets, filleted and butterflied flat
Small bunch of fresh basil (both stalks and leaves)
45 sweet baby plum tomatoes cut in half
1 small red onion finely chopped
4tbsp red wine vinegar
120ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
8 rashers Denhay unsmoked streaky bacon
1 tin sardines in a tomato sauce
4 slices of sourdough (thick cut)
2 cloves of garlic peeled and halved
Ensure the sardine fillets have no bones left in and then put on a plate, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge.
In a bowl put all the basil leaves (leaving a few aside for garnish) along with half of the baby plum tomatoes. Add the chopped onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil and juice of ½ lemon to the bowl, season with a pinch of Maldon Sea Salt and mix well. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to chill and marinate for 45mins.
In the meantime you can cook the bacon. Under a pre-heated grill set to medium/high, place the rashers of Denhay streaky bacon neatly allowing to cook for approx 4 mins each side until golden and crisp. Remove from the grill and allow to cool on a plate lined with a paper towel.
In a large frying pan add a tiny splash of olive oil before adding the tinned sardines (including tomato sauce), basil stalks (chopped) and the remaining baby plum tomatoes. Crush one of the cloves of garlic into the mixture, stir well and simmer over a medium heat for 15mins (until the tomatoes are very soft and cooked through). Turn the heat off and add the juice of ½ lemon before transferring the mixture to a blender and blitz until you have a smooth mixture. The run through a sieve over a bowl and season well.
Lightly grill the sourdough to give it a bit of colour then drizzle with a touch of olive oil and rub the remaining halved garlic over the toasts. Finally add a generous amount of olive oil to a frying pan and fry the sardine fillets – skin side down – for 2 mins before turning to cook for a further 2 minutes. Season and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Top the sourdough toasts with some of the puree mixture, add the fresh sardines and garnish with some remaining basil.
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