A colourful, virtuous lunch.
Another take on the smoked mackerel I wrote about here, this time leaving the fillet well alone and serving it whole. This time I've paired the fish with the humble leftovers of the salad drawer, ideal for using up those bits of veg that too often get forgotten about after their primary use has passed. I wheel out the food processor again for this recipe, the speed and yield I get in return more than makes up for lugging in onto the counter and the washing up. Peeled ridge cucumber, radish and red onion are sliced on the medium blade, which is flipped over to grate beetroot and carrot.
The mackerel can be warmed through in the oven if you have the time or the inclination. I always think it makes it feel more of a meal somehow when it's heated, but this salad seems to fill us up regardless. The caper potatoes can be cooked when the mackerel is in the oven. Again, another virtuous way to use up the scraps of the veg basket.
This salad looks incredibly pretty with all the colours of the vegetables. As if all that thrift and the health-giving benefits of mackerel aren't making you feel smug enough, the satisfaction of a beautiful plate of food at lunchtime, as opposed to a right-on bowl of lentilly gruel is worth it in its own right.
- 2 fillets smoked mackerel (plain or peppered)
- 8 new potatoes, halved
- Half a ridge cucumber, peeled
- 8 radishes
- Half a red onion
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 2-4 small cooked beetroots (depending on size/taste)
- 1 tbsp creme fraiche or mayonnaise
- 2 tsp capers, rinsed
- Handful of salad leaves
- Handful of cherry tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- Black pepper
- Baking tray and foil (optional)
- Small saucepan and lid
- Measuring and mixing spoons
- Small knife
- Chopping board
- Food processor and medium slicing/grating discs
- Boil the kettle for the potatoes. Put them on to simmer for 8 minutes till just cooked.
- If heating the mackerel wrap the fillets loosely in foil, place on a baking tray and put in the oven at 180/Gas 5.
- Fit the processor with the slicing blade. Chop the cucumber, radish and red onion. Turn the disc over to the grater and process the carrot and beetroot.
- Drain the potatoes. Put them back in the pan while still warm and add the creme fraiche, capers and a bit of black pepper.
- Arrange salad leaves on each plate. Top with the chopped vegetables and tomatoes. Drizzle over a bit of olive oil and lemon juice, season with black pepper.
- Add a large spoonful of potatoes to the plate. Finish the dish with the mackerel, flesh side up.
Serves 2 (easily doubled or split)