Michel Roux Jr's Grilled sardines, Parma ham & tomato chutney

A little fish that packs a serious punch of flavour, this recipe takes sardines on toast to another level. The relish can be kept refrigerated for up to five days.


For the sardines:
25g pack fresh basil
24 sardines, filleted and head removed
12 thin slices of Parma ham, halved lengthways

For the tomato chutney:
8 large tomatoes
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp malt vinegar
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
Pinch of chilli powder
1tbsp each of mint, basil and coriander, roughly chopped

To serve:
Watercress salad
Raspberry vinegar
Walnut oil


For the sardines:

1. Place 3 or 4 basil leaves on a sardine fillet, season with pepper and place another fillet on top. Wrap each pair of fillets in a slice of ham and secure with a wooden cocktail stick.

2. Grill for 4 minutes each side and serve with the relish. If you want to serve the sardines with toast, grill some slices of sourdough bread and rub with a little garlic. Top with some relish followed by the sardines.

For the tomato chutney:

1. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, then remove the skin. De-seed them and roughly chop the tomato flesh.  

2. Put the shallots and garlic in a pan with the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water. Simmer until almost dry, then add the tomato purée and sugar.

3. Continue to cook and stir for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato flesh, season to taste, add the chilli powder and simmer for 10-12 minutes until cooked. When cool, fold in the roughly chopped herbs.

4. Serve with watercress salad seasoned with raspberry vinegar and walnut oil.


  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 12 minutes
  • Total time: 32 minutes 35 minutes

Serves: 6

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This recipe was first published in Thu May 15 15:23:00 BST 2014.