Stage 3: Marseille - La Grande Motte It is from Marseille that Gabriel Gaté presents the wonderful cuisine of Provence. He takes us to one of his favourite French markets in Aix en Provence. Eccentric French gendarme, François, prepares a tasty recipe for marinated sardines.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (15 votes)


12 fresh sardines, medium size
about 3 tbsp lemon olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ medium onion
1 medium baby carrot
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of thyme
2 cloves of garlic
¼ cup good quality white vinegar (I use champagne vinegar)
½ cup cold water
a little extra lemon olive oil for drizzling


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 24 hours

Clean the insides of the sardines, scale them and remove the heads with a knife. Dry the sardines with kitchen paper.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the sardines for 1-2 minutes on each side. Season sardines with salt and pepper and place them neatly on a flat platter.

Slice the onion very finely. Cut the carrot into very thin slices

Heat remaining olive oil in a pan. Add the sliced onion, sliced carrot, coriander seeds, bay leaf, thyme and garlic and cook gently for 2 minutes.

Add the vinegar and water to the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Spoon the liquid over the cooked sardines and top with the vegetables and herbs. Allow to cool, cover with plastic film and refrigerate for 24 hours. The sardines will absorb the liquid.

Just before serving, drizzle the sardines with a little lemon olive oil.