Sicilian-style sardines

Butterflying sardines is easy and a great way to eat them, but if you’re in a hurry, ask the fish service counter to fillet the fish. Just top the fillets with the filling and bake.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus soaking
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 25 minutes, plus soaking

Serves: 4


12 sardines, heads and tails removed, gutted and deboned (this can be done at the fish service counter)
75g breadcrumbs
25g pine nuts, toasted
25g essential Waitrose raisins
1 tbsp essential Waitrose white wine vinegar
Small handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • lemon wedges, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Soak 12 cocktail sticks in cold water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, butterfly the sardine and put on a parchment-lined baking tray, skin-side down. Put the breadcrumbs, pine nuts, raisins, vinegar and parsley in a bowl, season and mix together. Spoon some of the mixture onto each sardine (don’t worry if bits fall onto the tray). Drizzle over the olive oil.

2. Fold or roll the sardines widthways to enclose the filling and secure with a pre-soaked cocktail stick. (Again, it doesn’t matter if the filling falls out a little.) Bake for 15 minutes, until the sardines are lightly golden and cooked through, and the breadcrumbs have started to crisp up and turn golden. Sprinkle with extra parsley and serve with the lemon wedges, plus a green salad, if liked.