Salt Yard maestro Ben Tish's signature grilled sardines

We know you like to go off-piste with your BBQ. That's why we've brought you this recipe for delicious grilled sardines from Salt Yard's Ben Tish. Go on, you know you want to...

Ben Tish's recipe for grilled sardines on toast

Serves 2

Preparation time 5 mins

Cooking time 15 mins

"Sardines were made for cooking over an open fire," says Tish. "Their oiliness helps lubricate the flesh and crisp the skin. The herbs here are used twice – to flavour the bread and also smoke the fish as it's grilling."


  • 4 sardines, scaled and gutted, skin lightly scored
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and stalks reserved
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and stalks reserved
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 2 very ripe plum tomatoes cut in half
  • 4 thick slices of ciabatta or sourdough bread
  • Sea salt and black pepper for seasoning
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Half a lemon for squeezing


  1. Light and set a BBQ until it's very hot and the charcoal is an ashen grey. Season the sardines and rub with olive oil.
  2. Finely chop through the rosemary and thyme leaves, mix with the garlic and a splash of olive oil to loosen and then season with salt and pepper. Drizzle half of this herb-garlic oil over the bread slices, season and then grill on both sides, over the charcoal until lightly charred.
  3. Remove from the heat and then rub on side of each slice with half a tomato, pressing the flesh into the toast. Drizzle the rest of the herb-garlic oil over the tomato breads and leave at the side of the grill to keep warm.
  4. Place the stalks on the charcoal to start smoking and then grill the sardines on each side for 3 minutes until the flesh turns opaque and the skin is charred and crispy. Squeeze over the lemon juice and then divide the sardines on to the bread slices and serve.