This is a brilliant store cupboard, almost instant, amuse bouche to nibble at with your drinks and stave off hunger pangs of all concerned while dinner is sorted.

The pumpernickel, in particular, is a useful thing to have to hand. Unopened, it can keep for months (check what it says on the packet); it doesn’t go soggy like ordinary bread when a wet filling is put on top of it; and it has all kinds of health benefits including having a very low glycemic index. Once opened, however, it will keep for four or five days, but NOT in the fridge which will dry it out.

The lumpfish on the other hand will keep in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks (sometimes much longer, Romanoff, for example, keeps two years), check the label. Once opened, you need to eat it within a couple of days.

Mascarpone, on the other hand, is a lot more robust. You need to keep that in the fridge too, but it will keep much longer – again, check the label.

And then there is the old stalwart – the tin of sardines. Here we are talking years…. Again, check the packaging.

In any case, this takes minutes to make!


Recipe for sardine, coral lumpfish and pumpernickel

Serves 4 with drinks


  • 90g/3 oz (drained weight) sardines in olive oil
  • 4 tbsps mascarpone
  • 4 tsps coral lumpfish
  • 3 slices of pumpernickel


  1. Using a fork, mash the sardines, including the oil, with the mascarpone.
  2. Spread over the pumpernickel and cut into bite sized pieces
  3. Top with a little of the coral lumpfish

Ta Dah!


For over a hundred other sardine recipes, follow this link.


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