Whisky Caramelised Onions & Sardines on Toast



  • 6 filleted fresh sardines
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


  • 1 sour-dough baguette 6-12 slices
  • 1 clove garlic

Caramelised Onions

  • 1 cup onions (mixed variety is best, red/white/yellow)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Camborne Whisky
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Herbs to garnish – fresh fennel fronds, dill or parsley

Note: 1 whole sardine to a large round of bruschetta or 1/2 a sardine fillet per 1/2 slice for a larger crowd.



  • Heat olive oil in a big pan over low heat, spread the onions in one layer, do not crowd or overlap them, or they will steam.
  • Add a pinch of sea salt to the onions and cook them until all the liquid has evaporated and the onions are soft, it will take 10-15 minutes.
  • Then add thyme leaves, fennel seed and garlic to the pan and stir them in to give their flavour to the oil, stir constantly to prevent garlic from burning.
  • After, add sugar and whisky, cook stirring constantly for another 5-10 minutes until the onions are caramelised. You can store the onions for 2 weeks in the fridge.


  • Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan to high.
  • Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil all over the sour-dough and cook on a barbecue grill for 1-2 minutes each side until slightly charred.
  • Remove from heat and rub the cut side of garlic all over each toast. Keep warm and set aside.


  • Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over sardines and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place, skin-side down, on a barbecue flat plate. Cook for 1-2 minutes each side until just cooked.
Note: Make sure the BBQ is hot before you sear sardines, and let the skin crisp, before you try to turn it or the skin may stick to the grill (alternatively, cook in a non-stick fry pan over high heat).

Final Touches

  • Divide toast among plates and top with caramelised onions & sardines. Garnish with some fresh fennel fronds or dill.