Risotto recipe with sardines and black garlic


This risotto recipe from Love British Food with Cornish sardines is an ideal way to celebrate fresh British produce. Flavoured with black garlic, it’s an easy way to impress friends and loved ones at a dinner party.

Black garlic is simply fresh garlic that has been fermented for a period of time at a high temperature. This turns the garlic cloves dark and gives them a sweet taste. Studies suggest that daily consumption of black garlic extracts may have a number of wellbeing benefits. These include anti-inflammation and even anticarcinogenic effects.

Sardines are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential nutrients contribute to healthy brain function and can also support our vision too. Individuals with lower levels of omega-3 are more likely to record age-related cognitive decline. Even more reason to dive into this delicious risotto recipe!

Give this dish a final flourish by crisping up the sardine skin. Use a blowtorch or simply pop under the grill to crisp up the skin and add some texture.

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  • 4 Cornish sardine fillets – butterflied
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5-6 black garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 300g risotto rice
  • A small knob of butter
  • Seasoning


  1. In a processor add the black garlic cloves and a little bit of the oil and blitz until all chopped up, if you don’t have a processor then just chop nice and fine, and set aside for later.
  2. Add a glug of oil to a saucepan and warm to 52˚C. Once at the desired temperature place in two of the fillets, if you have room for more then add all four.
  3. Cook at that temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, you are looking for a change of colour in the fillets until they are opaque and no longer translucent. Once cooked remove from the pan and leave to drain on kitchen paper.
  4. With the remainder of your oil, lightly fry the onion in a heavy based pan until it is translucent and then add the rice and cook for one to two minutes until the rice turns translucent.
  5. Add a ladle of the stock and stir over a medium heat until all the stock has been absorbed and then add another ladle of stock, keep repeating this process until the rice is nice and creamy, but still firm, at this point add the black garlic and cook for a further three to four minutes.
  6. Once the rice has reached the right texture check the seasoning and adjust as needed, add the small knob of butter and stir, if you find while you are waiting the rice becomes stodgy you can always add some more stock just before serving to loosen the risotto up.
  7. Now crisp up the sardine skin by placing the sardines under the grill or use a blowtorch and serve on top of the risotto.