– with spiced aubergines
– with green olive, celery & raisin salsa
– with pickled radish with ginger & red onion
Mackerel is packed with good oils & high in long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, which are believed to help prevent heart disease. They’re a good source of Vitamin D as, well as being a handy source of protein.
There is currently, and historically, quite a lot of research published online indicating that oily fish may help to reduce the effects of respiratory disease. Lots of discussion online. Here’s a somewhat lengthy but interesting (particularly in the current times) viewpoint.
Anyway, returning to mackerel – nothing ‘lengthy’ about the cooking required – it’s super quick to prepare; a go-to ‘fast food’ for me!
1. Baked Mackerel fillet with Spiced Aubergines
Mackerel fillets – either grilled or baked; you don’t need any oil, just a little seasoning. The lemon juice in this recipe lifts the spiced aubergines in a surprisingly delicious way. This recipe is originally from Gordon Ramsay.
Spiced aubergines to serve 4 (or 2 with some useful leftovers!)
3 large aubergines
5 Tbs olive oil
3 large oninons, peeled and finely sliced
2 tsp cumin
3 plum tomatoes, fresh or tinned. Skin if fresh. Deseed & chop.
150g sultanas, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
2-3 tbs lemon juice & a handful of basil / coriander / parsley leaves, to serve
- Cook the mackerel fillets as desired, having made the spiced aubergines ahead of time:
- Sprinkle 2cm cubed aubergines with salt. Stand in a colander for 20 minutes. This helps minimise the amount of oil absorbed during cooking.
- Rinse aubergines to remove the salt.
- Heat 2 Tbs olive oil gently in a large pan. Soften onions by sweating, covered, gently for 8-10 minutes until lightly caramelised. Add aubergine cubes to cook with the onion.
- Add tomatoes, sultanas, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.
- Serve as desired, sprinkled with freshly chopped herbs and a lemon wedge.
2. Mackerel with green olive, celery and raisin salsa
Another deliciously fresh, light recipe. This one originally from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
- 4 oz / 125 g celery stalks, thinly sliced
- Scant 1/2 cup / 60 g good-quality pitted green olives, thinly sliced crosswise
- 3 tbsp capers, rinsed
- Scant 1/2 cup / 70 g mixed golden and dark raisins, plumped in hot water to cover
- 1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1/2 oz / 15 g flat-leaf parsley coarsely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Stir together all the salsa ingredients. Then taste. It should be sweet, sour, and salty. Season with salt and pepper and leave to sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to evolve, then taste again.
- Refrigerat for up to 24 hours, if necessary.
Note: Before serving, allow the salsa to come to room temperature for the flavours to develop. Serve with extra chopped parsley if wished, and adjust the seasoning.
3. Mackerel with pickled radish with ginger & red onion
Radishes are super quick and easy to grow, and packed with anti-oxidants & nutrients, particularly vitamins E, A, C, B6, and K. They’re also high in fibre, zinc and potassium, phosphorous, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese.
Full disclosure (!): I’m not overly keen on radishes on their own. But they’re great roasted in the juices as a chicken’s cooking, and I love them pickled to pep up simple quick dishes like grilled fish or chicken, or with creamy cheese or salads. In the height of the summer, you could have radishes from seeds in as little as four weeks… that’s as near to ‘fast food’ as nature allows!
Ginger Pickled Radish & red onion – recipe originally from Waitrose magazine, issue 05.14 Page 45:
400 ml white wine vinegar
1 red onion (and 1 fennel bulb if you like, & have one)
200g radishes, very finely sliced
105g sushi ginger, grained and cut into fine slivers
- Heat the sugar & vinegar in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and add the red onion, then allow to cool completely.
- Put the very thinly sliced radishes,sushi ginger and fennel (if using) into a bowl and pour over the red onion mixture. Mix well, cover and chill.
- Return to room temperature before serving.
- This pickle is great with plain food such as grilled mackerel – also adds sine spark to soup, see below.
- Sprinkle with black Nigella seeds, or serve with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or sprinkle of dill or other fresh herbs if wished.
‘Remember, a dead fish can float downstream…
it takes a live one to swim upstream’W C Fields