Sardine Pâté with Capers

Sardine Pate


  • 810 whole sardines, cleaned and filleted (350g) or good quality tinned sardines
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 30g capers
  • 70g butter (room temperature)
  • 1tsp paprika (spicy)
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sea salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. First prepare your sardines. If you have a friendly fishmonger you can ask them to gut them and clean off any scales although you’ll probably still need to fillet and debone them which can be a little fiddly and certainly requires some fish boning tweezers. It depends how long you want to be in the kitchen. It can be quite a soothing and enjoyable way to pass the time, especially as you’re preparing everything from scratch. Alternatively if time is of the essence you can always choose to use some good quality tinned sardines instead.
  3. Having remove the heads, tails and any fins and cleaned and deboned your fish, butterfly them and arrange them in the single layer on a baking tray. Season well with with salt and pepper, and bake until just cooked, about eight minutes.
  4. Remove them from oven and put to one side to cool.
  5. Once they have cooled to room temperature, put your sardines in your food processor along with the diced onion, the butter, capers, paprika and olive oil and pulse until well blended. It’s up to you how smooth you make your pâté, but there’s alot to be said about a nice chunky pâté.
  6. Add lemon juice and taste. Add salt and pepper if required, although if you’ve used capers that were preserved in sea salt, then you almost certainly won’t need to add any more salt.
  7. Scrape your pâté into a suitably sized ramekin or terracotta bowl and put in the fridge to chill overnight.
  8. Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before serving, ideally with some lovely fresh bread!
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