Cured sardines with fresh tomato sauce, rosemary & beach greens

Recipe by: Sam Mahlook


  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 100g cultured Gippsland Jersey butter
  • Finely grated ride and juice of 2 lemons, divided
  • 4 ripe and juicy tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 100ml olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 20 large sardines
  • Cooking salt
  • Fresh lemon juice and white wine vinegar mixed 50/50 to cover
  • Olive oil to cover
  • Sourdough loaf cut into thin slices
  • Selection of washed beach greens e.g. beach mustard, salty fingers, samphire


  1. Rosemary butter: mix the rind and juice of a lemon, the rosemary and butter together and chill.
  2. Fresh tomato sauce for sardines: take a slice from the stem end of each tomato, then grate each tomato with a box grater leaving the skin behind. Add the rind and juice of a lemon, some salt and good olive oil and a clove of garlic grated with a micro plane.
  3. Sardine prep: fillet sardines, remove ribcage, sprinkle with salt and leave to cure for 3 hours in the fridge. Rinse off salt and submerge in 50/50 mix of fresh lemon juice and white wine vinegar. Leave overnight in the fridge.  Drain, cover with olive oil and a few picked herbs.
  4. To serve, toast the bread and spread with the rosemary butter. Lay the sardine fillets on top and put in the oven for 5 minutes to warm through. Spoon a layer of sauce to cover the bottom of a bowl and lay the toasts on top. Garnish with picked beach herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.