Sardines à la Antiboise

Sardines with stuffed Provencale tomatoes.

Sardines a la Antiboise originates from in the French southern coastal city of Antibes on the sunny French Riviera. The dish has various modes of preparation. À la Antiboise indicates ‘with tomatoes.’ Simple versions use fresh, grilled sardines topped with a sauce of tomatoes, garlic, capers, olives, and herbs.

Auguste Escoffier describes the dish differently, and suggests a satisfying recipe that fries breaded sardines and serves them with tomates à la Provençale, which contains all the ingredients of other Antiboise sauces, but with a rather more elegant presentation.

The recipe given here is lightly adapted from that of Auguste Escoffier. For the tomatoes, a spoon of ‘fatty daube beef gravy’ is swapped for demi glace. Boullion is swapped for a cow-fortified vegetable stock.

Sardines à la Antiboise

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By Auguste Escoffier (adapted) Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 30 mins


  • For the tomatoes:
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the tomato filling:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Half an onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped quite small
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp of parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp demi glace
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the tomato crust:
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan, grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • For the sardines:
  • 12 sardines, heads and tails removed
  • 6 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 6 tbsp breadcrumbs, seasoned


To prepare the tomatoes:


Cut the tomatoes in half laterally. Scoop out the seeds and liquid and discard. Season. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sear the tomatoes cut side down until browned. Flip them over and briefly cook the other side. Remove to an earthenware dish.

To make the tomato filling:


Heat the olive oil in a small pan and add the onions. Cook on medium until coloured and soft. Add the tomatoes, parsley, garlic and half of the demi glace. Simmer covered for 10 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down.


Meanwhile, warm the stock and whisk in the remaining demi glace. Add the breadcrumbs to soak them and drain. Add the anchovies to the breadcrumbs and pass everything through a sieve into the pan with the tomatoes. Season to taste.


Spoon the filling into the tomato halves and pack down to get as much in as possible.

To make the tomato topping:


Heat an oven to 200˚C.


Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan and season with a little black pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the tomatoes and cook in the oven for about 12 minutes until golden. Cast over a bit of chopped parsley to serve.

To cook the sardines:


Heat a fryer to 190˚C.


In batches, roll the sardines in the flour, coat in the egg and coat again in the breadcrumbs. Fry the fish in batches for about 2 mins until golden.


Serve the sardines in a circle around the tomatoes.

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