Sardine & Thyme Tartar on German Rye Sourdough bread

After a freezing April I went to Mallorca for the bank holiday weekend and although greeted with two days of rain we eventually got to top up on some vitamin D. What a reward to finally see blue skies and sunshine.

When in Spain I love eating freshly caught sardines, just so delicious grilled with garlic, fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon, which we picked from the lemon tree in our back garden. Definitely want one of those one day.



Back at home I tend to opt for the tinned version, especially when there is not much time to cook. Just about to hit the last busy period of my studies I wanted to share an omega 3 rich Sardine & Thyme tartar recipe with you, served on a bed of peppery watercress and freshly baked sourdough, it’s just divine and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.

Omega 3 oils found in sardines and enriched eggs have shown to support cognitive function which is the perfect base for writing long assignments. For lightness I made the tartar with an adaption of a Cesar salad dressing with fresh thyme rather than a heavy mayonnaise. I also added some freshly grated horseradish and B-vitamin and choline rich organic free range eggs, which I boiled for 6 minutes, leaving the egg yolk slightly soft but not runny.

A lovely fresh and peppery salad and watercress give this quick dinner or lunch an extra portion of antioxidants and crunch.

Sardine & Thyme Tartar on German Rye Sourdough (consume tartar within a day)

Ingredients: Serves 1-2
1-2 tins sardines in brine or water (1 tin per person)
1-2 hard boiled egg (cut into small cubes)
4-6 small cornichons (cut into small cubes)
1 tbsp horseradish (optional)
1-2 tbsp of thyme dressing
A squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt & pepper to taste
150g watercress or spring salad to garnish
1-2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves to garnish

Sourdough rye loaf – 2 slices per person

Thyme dressing: (consume within a day)
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp of organic cold pressed olive oil
1 tsp of gluten free English or Dejon mustard
1 tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 small crushed garlic clove
1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
A squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt & pepper to taste

Start with boiling the eggs, as they need to cool down before adding them to the salad. I get the best results putting the eggs into boiling water and cooking them for 6 minutes. Then I drain the water and fill the pot with cold water to help cooling the eggs down whilst preparing the rest of the dish.

With the eggs boiling away in their pot start with the dressing by separating the egg yolk from the egg white – you can use the egg white for making pancakes or in your next stir fry- but use within a day. Place the egg yolk in a bowl, slowly add the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, whisking the yolk and olive oil until well mixed, before adding the next. Once olive oil and yolk are combined well, add the mustard, whisk until mixed well, then add the vinegar and crushed garlic and carry on whisking, next add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, finally fold under the thyme leaves and set aside.

Drain the sardine fillets and place in a bowl, add cornichons cubes, horseradish, 1 tbsp of thyme dressing and carefully mix with a fork, add another tbsp of dressing, if the tartar still seems quite dry add anther tbsp of dressing and mix well before carefully folding the boiled egg cubes into the sardine mix. Season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Prepare a plate, toast two slices of sourdough, place on the plate, put one layer of watercress on the toast slices before scooping the tartar on top of the salad. Sprinkle with a squeeze of lemon juice and thyme dressing and garnish with a few leaves of thyme.

Enjoy !