Sardines on toast is a classic. Memories of this childhood (and adulthood) staple have brought a lot of you to our doors. Fast and tasty, it should be sardines on toast if you’re squeezed for time. Fast food but nutritious, this oily fish contains vitamin B2 that converts food into fuel, B12 for red blood cell and nervous system health, minerals phosphorus and calcium for strong bones and teeth, omega-3s for heart health. And that’s just the half of it. Here are a handful of fast recipes for sardines on toast - ways to sugar the pill if the pill needed sugar coating which it doesn’t - adapted from ideas shared with us by you.
Classic sardines on toast
Toast one side of the bread. Butter the other side generously, mash the sardines on top, season with salt and pepper, and toast under the grill for 10 minutes.
Sardines with lemon
Heat some butter in a frying pan on a gentle heat until it starts to foam, squeeze some lemon juice into the pan, add the sardines and heat them through, covering them in the lemony butter. Transfer to the toast, season with salt and pepper and place under the grill as above.
Herby cheese on toast with sardines
After toasting one side of the bread, grate some cheese on top, add chopped chives and/or other herbs, lay the sardines on top, season and toast for 10 minutes under the grill until the cheese melts, starts to turn golden and the sardine skins crisp up.
Cheese on toast with Worcestershire sauce and sardines
Place a handful of grated mature cheddar cheese on two slices of buttered toast, add Worcestershire sauce, lay the sardines on top and season with salt and pepper. Place under the grill until the cheese melts and browns and the sardine skins crisp up.
Sardines with chilli butter
Use a fork to combine chilli flakes with some softened butter. Spread on toast, top with sardines and grill. Garnish with torn basil.
Sardine, spring onion and boiled egg spread on toast
Top and tail a spring onion, remove any brown and bedraggled outer layers and cut into very fine rounds. Soft boil two eggs (6 1/2 minutes), shell them and place in a bowl with the spring onion, add the tin of drained sardines, coarsely mash, season to taste and spread on toast. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Singaporean sardines on toast
Mash together sardines in tomato sauce with lime juice, finely chopped or diced chilli (de-seeded for less heat), thinly sliced shallots and diced cucumber - all to taste. Spread on toast and season.
Sardines and red cabbage on toast
Mash sardines on toast, and top with shreds of pickled red cabbage and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sardines and avocado on toast
Toast two slices of bread, mash sardines on one slice, and smash half an avocado on the other. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to each and season with sea salt and plenty of cracked black pepper.
Sardines on toast with brown butter and chives
This was a serving suggestion for anchovies from a customer at Borough Market, and works a treat with sardines too. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan until it browns and takes on a nutty flavour. Drizzle the brown butter over some toast, top with sardines and garnish with chopped chives or parsley and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
Pan con tomate with sardines
Rub a peeled and halved garlic clove, flat side down, over two slices of bread, drizzle with olive oil and place under the grill. Lower a ripe tomato into boiling water for a few seconds (score a cross into the base of the tomato with a sharp knife to make peeling it easier) and then place it into cold water and peel the skin off. Halve the tomato and spread over the two slices of toast. Lay the sardines on top and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Sardines on toast with garlic and pepper
Melt some butter in a frying pan and sweat ½ an onion, finely sliced, and ½ a red pepper on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes. Keep checking and stirring so that the onions don’t catch. Add two cloves of minced garlic for the last minute. When the onion and pepper have softened and the garlic has cooked out, set the mixture to one side. Place the sardines in a frying pan and add some of the oil, sauté until the skins crisp up. Add the reserved mixture and heat through and spoon onto some toast. Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley.