Mackerel and gremolata recipe

Rachel Walker

Mackerel is a beautiful summer fish—cheap, delicious and incredibly good for you. Though this recipe is written for the kitchen it works well on a barbecue too, with lines of black char enhancing mackerel’s robust flavour

Earthy beetroot is in season late summer. If you have an allotment then adjust the recipe and roast from scratch, but this is written with the time-poor in mind, and pre-cooked supermarket beets.


Ingredients (serves 4-6)

2 x 300g packs of pre-cooked beetroot
1tsp hot smoked paprika
1tbsp clear honey
2 x 2tbsp olive oil
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1tbsp toasted and lightly crushed coriander seeds
8 mackerel fillets

For the gremolata:
5g fresh parsley, washed and picked
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of caster sugar
Pinch of salt 180ml olive oil


Method

1. Heat the oven to 200°C. Cut each beetroot into 4-6 pieces and put the wedges in a large roasting tin. Mix together the hot smoked paprika, honey and 2tbsp of the olive oil and pour it over the beetroot. Season generously with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes.

2. Next, mix the gremolata by washing, picking and slicing the parsley. Mix it with the lemon zest and juice, minced garlic, sugar and salt and olive oil. Taste to check the flavour—it should be punchy and well seasoned—set to one side.

3. Lay the mackerel fillets skin side up. Drizzle over the remaining 2tbsp olive oil and season generously with salt. Using the hottest hob setting get a frying pan really hot before pan-frying the mackerel fillets skin-side down (in batches, if needed). Cook them for 2 minutes, until the sides start to curl up and the flesh starts to cook-through except for a strip down the middle. Flip the fillets and fry them 20-30 seconds on the other side.

4. Toss the fennel slivers and spring onions through the warm beetroot wedges and generously season with crushed coriander. Put two mackerel fillets on each plate, top with a tablespoon of the gremolata and divide the warm beetroot salad between the four plates.

 

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