Sardine and onion tart

  • medium
  • Makes 4 tarts
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
Not yet rated

Sardines are one of the most sustainable fish you can buy, and they're rich in omega-3 oils too! Alex Bond roasts his sardines, then combines with egg, dashi and cream to make a light filling for these tarts, which sits on a base of sweet Lyonnaise onions. The pastry is brushed with squid ink and butter, giving it a gentle saline flavour as well as jet black colour.

First published in 2020




Sardine tart filling

Lyonnaise onions

Onion ash

Tart cases


  • Sous vide equipment
  • Espuma gun
  • High-power blender
  • Fine chinois
  • 3.5cm tart case 4


Preheat an oven to 100ºC/gas mark 1/4. To make the onion ash, spread the sliced onions out on a baking tray and cook for 5–6 hours until very dark brown, dried and crispy. Blend into a fine powder and reserve until ready to assemble
Turn the oven up to 200ºC/gas mark 6 and preheat a water bath to 62°C
Roast the sardines whole in the oven for 5-6 minutes until they're cooked through. Remove the flesh from the fish and put in a large sous vide bag along with the rest of the ingredients and seal. Cook in the water bath for 1 hour
Meanwhile, make the Lyonnaise onions. Sweat the thinly sliced onions slowly in a pan with a splash of oil and a pinch of salt. The onions will release water as you sweat them – once this water has reduced, keep cooking the onions gently until the oil splits out and the onions are sweet and tender. Keep warm or gently reheat before serving
Once cooked, blend the sardine mixture until completely smooth, then pass through a fine sieve and pour into an Espuma gun. Charge with two gas canisters and reserve until ready to assemble
Turn the oven down to 150ºC/gas mark 2. For the tart cases, mix the squid ink with the melted butter and brush in between each layer of pastry. Cut four circles out of the layered pastry and place into 3.5cm tart cases, ensuring there is a little overhang. Bake the tart cases for about 15 minutes until crisp
To assemble, reheat the Lyonnaise onions and place in the bottom of the tart cases. Fill the remaining space with the aerated sardine filling and dust the top of the tart with the burnt onion powder to finish
First published in 2020

After working with the likes of Sat Bains and Richard Turner, Alex Bond is blazing his own trail at Alchemilla in Nottingham, where his innovative dishes have made him one of the most exciting chefs in the country.

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