Chef's Recipes

Cured sardine, fennel, mushroom and bottarga salad on croûtons

Australian Gourmet Traveller Greek mezedes recipe for cured sardine, fennel, mushroom and bottarga salad on croûtons by Janni Kyritsis and Jonathan Barthelmess.

By Janni Kyritsis & Jonathan Barthelmess
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking plus cooling, curing
  • Serves 8
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Cured sardine, fennel, mushroom and bottarga salad on croûtons
“Greeks regard avgotaraho (salted and dried grey mullet roe) as a much finer product than French poutargue or Italian bottarga,” Barthelmess explains, “but it’s difficult to get in Australia so we’ve used bottarga. This dish is great with ouzo.”


  • 11 thin rye loaf slices, cut into 5cm x 3cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 baby fennel bulb, shaved
  • 5 button mushrooms, shaved on a mandolin
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 50 gm bottarga, shaved
Marinated sardines
  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) white wine vinegar
  • 160 ml white wine
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, zested rind only
  • 8 sardine fillets (or 4 butterflied sardines)


  • 1
    For marinated sardines, combine all ingredients except sardines in a saucepan, bring to the boil over high heat, then remove from heat and stand until cool(30-40 minutes). Place sardines in a non-reactive dish in a single layer, cover with marinade and stand for 1 hour at room temperature to lightly cure.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Place bread in a single layer on a baking tray, brush lightly with oil and bake, turning once, until toasted (10-15 minutes). Set aside.
  • 3
    Combine fennel, mushrooms and parsley in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and 1 tbsp marinade, season to taste and toss lightly to combine. Remove sardines from remaining marinade, cut each into four pieces, place one piece on each croûton, top with salad, then a little bottarga, and serve.


This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Drink Suggestion: Ouzo or dry white vermentino. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • undefined: Janni Kyritsis & Jonathan Barthelmess