Grilled sardines on ciabatta with tomato confit, basil and tapenade

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Robert Thompson's grilled sardines recipe takes the idea of sardines on toast to a whole new level. Confit tomatoes and garlicky tapenade are fantastic supporting actors for the sardines, which can be grilled or barbecued. Start on the tomatoes early to give yourself plenty of time.

First published in 2015





  • Barbecue


Slice the tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a lined baking tray
Rub each tomato with a little olive oil and season lightly before placing in an oven at 110˚C/gas mark 1/4 for 6 hours. Alternatively, you could roast the tomatoes for 90 minutes at 130°C/gas mark 1/2, but be aware that this will lessen the taste
After 6 hours the tomatoes should have shrunk but remained juicy inside
Place the olives and garlic in a pan and pour in enough olive oil to cover. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook until the olives and garlic are very soft
Drain well and then transfer the olives and garlic, along with the capers and anchovies, to a food processor. Gently pulse into a tapenade but do not let the ingredients lose their texture entirely. Finish with a little lemon juice and pepper
Rub the ciabatta slices with olive oil and then chargrill on each side. Rub with garlic and then top each slice with a very thin coating of the tapenade. Top each ciabatta with 3 halves of tomato and 5 basil leaves
Rub the sardines with olive oil before cooking under a hot grill or barbecue for 3-4 minutes. Divide the sardines across the ciabattas and serve
First published in 2015

Robert Thompson's cooking is full of character and classical skill.

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