Grilled Mackerel with Pepper Salad
Mackerel is at its seasonal best and available widely during August, so make the most of it in summer.
A rich oily fish packed with omega-3 goodness it is perfect cooked on the grill until its beautiful shiny skin turns crisp.
Lightly seasoned with a smoked paprika oil, we’ve paired the mackerel with a tangy and fruity pepper salad to bring a taste of the Mediterranean to the table.
For the mackerel
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 4 fresh mackerel fillets, pin-boned
- salt and pepper to season
- 4 slices of sourdough bread
For the pepper salad
- 2 red and 2 yellow peppers, halved lengthwise, seed core removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 90g pimento-stuffed olives, halved
- handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp Ale-Gar or red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, finely crushed
First make the salad. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Put the peppers skin-side up on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and grill for 15 minutes until they become charred. Place in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to cool and then peel of the skin. Chop the peppers into chunks.
Place in a large bowl then add the olives and basil.
Put the chopped onion in a sieve and run under cold water, drain and then add to the bowl. Mix together the extra virgin olive oil, Ale-Gar (or red wine vinegar) and garlic. Pour over the salad and stir well. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Mix 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the paprika together. Slash the fish skin, diagonally at 2cm intervals. Brush on the paprika oil mixture and season the fillets with salt and pepper. Place them skin-side up on a baking tray.
Grill for 4-5 minutes until the skin is crisp and the fish is just cooked.
Drizzle the bread with the remaining oil and toast each side until golden.
Place a slice of toast on each plate and spoon over some pepper salad onto each of them. Top with the grilled mackerel.
NOTES ON INGREDIENTS
Although smoked paprika is widely available, we can recommend using the one from The Artisan Smokehouse. It has a wonderful colour and aroma and sweet delicate smoke flavour from being smoked over maple wood.
Ale-Gar is a kind of British balsamic created by Alan Coxon based on a medieval recipe. It has a truly unique flavour and is a versatile ingredient which should be in everyone’s kitchen.
For a superior olive fresh from the family’s olive groves in Puglia, Italy try Max Olive Oil or for something with a Greek flavour try one from NV Greek Foods (Euzoea) who also produce a range of balsamic vinegars which would be great in this dish.
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