Layered Sardine Loaf


This unusual fish pâté has every advantage. Firstly, it is delicious. It is easy to make and inexpensive. It freezes well or can be made and chilled in the fridge a day in advance. Lastly, with its dark green parsley and butter top, it has an extremely impressive appearance. It is perfect either as a first course or as an accompaniment to cold meats.


  • 4 oz (100 g) butter or block margarine
  • 1 lb (400 g) cream cheese - at room temperature
  • 2 tins sardines
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2-3 cloves garlic - crushed or chopped finely
  • salt, black pepper
  • good handful of parsley - chopped finely
  • approx. 1 small loaf wholemeal or granary bread - sliced thinly


Butter a loaf tin, size about 9 in. x 5 in. (23 cm x 13 cm). Melt 3 oz (75 g) butter and leave it to cool a bit. Put in the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mash the sardines into it with a wooden spoon. Stir in the lemon juice, garlic and melted butter bit by bit. Add salt and plenty of black pepper. Mix all together thoroughly. Melt the remaining 1 oz (25 g) butter and stir into it the chopped parsley. Spread this mixture on the bottom of the loaf tin. Cut the rinds off the slices of bread and cut to shape to make a layer of bread on top of the parsley, then spread a rather thick layer of the cream cheese mixture over the bread, then another layer of bread, and so on, ending with a layer of bread. Cover with foil or plastic film and chill overnight in the fridge.

To turn out, dip the tin briefly in hot water and slip the loaf on to a serving dish. If necessary smooth the sides with a knife. Chill again in the fridge until needed.