Parmesan Crusted Pilchards on Toast with Tomatoes and a Parsley Salad

2:29 am on 16 August 2008

(Serves 4)


  • 8 Pilchards
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g grated parmesan cheese
  • 100ml cooking oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 slices of baguette bread
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 medium sized ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, washed and lightly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp small caper, rinsed and chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Butterfly the pilchards by removing the heads and then placing them,  gut  cavity open, belly-side down on a chopping board. Press down firmly along the backbone until the fish is completely flat. Turn the fish over and pull away the backbone. Remove any remaining small bones.

Coat the pilchards in the flour. Beat the eggs together, and dredge the pilchards through them, finally coating them in the Parmesan crumbs.

Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan until it is hot, and carefully fry the pilchards in it, turning them over occasionally until golden brown on all sides, about eight minutes.

Remove the pilchards to a suitable plate and keep them warm. Toast the slices of baguette under a grill until golden brown. Rub the slices with the  
cloves of garlic, and put two slices onto each plate.

Drizzle the slices with the olive oil, and top with the slices of tomato and the cooked pilchards. Mix the chopped parsley with the onion, capers, lemon juice and olive oil. Season at the last minute and place on top of the pilchards and serve.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

Find a Recipe

or browse by title