The Sardine Toast at The Whale Wins is an enduring favorite among customers and staff alike. Marie Rurtherford, Whale's talented Chef de Cuisine, shares the recipe:
Renee and I were discussing food, throwing out ideas--fenugreek, tomatoes. I went into the kitchen and started putting things together. With testing and tweaking it became what is on the menu.
1 can of Matiz sardines (blue and white box)
2 large slices of Seawolf's hearty sourdough bread, cut straight across and then again diagonally
1 head fennel
1/2 bunch parsley, picked
1/4 cup of chives, chopped thinly
Maldon sea salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees, place tomatoes on a cookie sheet and roast until the tomatoes are charred and begin to slump. Mill or blend the tomatoes until smooth. Place in pan and reduce for 30 minutes over medium-low heat. Season the reduced tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of curry and salt to taste. Combine with mayonnaise and test for salt again (depending on how much mayo you like on your toast, there will be some leftover).
Place sliced bread on an oiled sheet tray, drizzle more oil on top of bread and salt. Toast until golden brown. The toast should be crispy but still chewy.
Shave fennel thinly on a mandolin and place in a bowl with parsley and chopped chives. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and salt. Mix to combine.
Once bread is cool enough to handle, spread the curried tomato mayo mixture on each slice of toast. Place 1 sardine on slice, season each sardine with a little salt. Next, add a small amount of the fennel salad to each toast. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Serves at least 2. Eat with your hands!