Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.


Sardine Pâté


If there is one fish that I stayed clear away from, growing up,... it was Sardines. For one, mum always fed them to my cats, so I looked at these slender fish as just catfood. And for another, English idioms always lended an air of banal to them. No, not that I am snooty at all....! ;)

Lunch table

These days, being in the US and exposed to many visually stimulating creations on the blogosphere and cookbooks, I have rather warmed up to them. It, of course, helps to find some really fresh specimens that lure you with their haute, just-caught looks.

After trying a few Spanish recipes and Indian ones, I was lost for inspiration when I came upon David Lebovitz's recipe for a Pâté. For some odd reason, I had never tasted fish pâté before and I was indeed a bit sceptical, especially, given the strong flavor of sardines.

Sardine Pate & Toast

Nevertheless, I gave it a go with some modifications and was pleasantly surprised by what came of it. The pâté definitely has character but the sardiney-ness is mellowed out nicely. At the end of it, one does not come away smelling like a fish! Imagine that! ;-)

Sardine Pâté
(adapted from
David Lebovitz)

Sardine pate

4 whole sardines, cleaned and butterflied
4 T shaved and diced fennel
4 T cilantro, minced
1 tsp sumac
1 oz butter, at room temperature
1.5 T lemon olive oil
freshly-squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper as needed

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the sardines in a shallow dish, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 6 minutes until flaky and just cooked. Cool to room temperature.

Add all the ingredients except the lemon juice and process the mixture into a light chunky texture. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice and taste, adjusting the seasoning as needed.Fill the mixture into molds and chill for atleast 8 hours or overnight.

Bring back to room temperature and serve with toasted bread or crisps.

Pâté can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days, or frozen for up to one month.

Sardine Pate on Toast


  1. As a child, I also used to stay clear of those fishes... Your pate looks delicious and those clicks are delightful.



  2. I've always loved sardines. Who knows, perhaps it's a Greek thing.
    I've never had them in the form of pate though. Thanks for this!

  3. Oh that sounds lovely. Sardines with fennel is my favourite sardine way to go! I wonder about the sumac though, as Ive never seen it where i live. Any ideas on the closest substitute?

  4. Well, I still am not quite there yet..still can't think of consuming sardines :(
    Maybe a pate like yours is the way to go?

  5. My husband is obsessed with fishy fish - he would LOVE this, and I think I would too. Your sardine photo is stunning.

  6. I have had some fabulous sardine pates while traveling through France, this one I am sure is no exception. You have managed to perform a miracle by making this pate looks utterly rustic and beautiful.

  7. As a child I really disliked fish in general, but with age things have totally changed.
    You have made pâté looks so elegant Asha !

  8. My father thought me how to make a delicious pate when I was on my teenage days. This recipe will make my father more proud of me when I make this on our reunion.

  9. Es un blog con buenas recetas y preciosas fotografías
    Blanca de JUEGO DE SABORES


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