Last Easter my brothers and I met up in Yorkshire for a weekend of walking, eating and sampling one or two of the local drinks… Unbeknownst to my brothers I decided that we needed to balance out the gluttony of the weekend with a healthy meal. Now, for those of you that know my brothers you will appreciate that a mackerel salad would not be their first choice, so much so that when I first told them that mackerel salad was on the menu for Sunday lunch they quickly suggested a walk to the pub for a pre-lunch beer, which then led to another and another … it is safe to say that the mackerel salad did not happen that day.
However the following day there was no escaping the Mackerel salad as I prepared it before the boys were up. I suppose you are wondering why I persisted with the Mackerel salad, well first up despite the boys protests I was pretty sure they would like it. Secondly, I wanted to see if it was enough of a meal to stop them feeling hungry. The good news is that the boys were both pleasantly surprised and full, thanks to this protein rich salad. Win!
The recipe below, serves one person, but can easily be multiplied to cater for more. As with any salad you can chop and change the ingredients according to what you have available. If you are entertaining / hosting a dinner party then I would suggest serving as a starter and reducing the quantities by half. If however you are having friends over for lunch then adapt the recipe to cater of the right number of people and present on a large platter so that people may help themselves.
Alternatively if you are looking for a packed lunch ideas, this salad can be made up the night before and stored in a Tupperware. My only advice if you do this: (1) do not quarter the boiled egg until you are ready to eat; and (2) keep the vinaigrette separate in a little jar to prevent the salad going soggy overnight.
Preparation time: 10 mins
- 1 smoked mackerel fillet
- 1 egg
- 1 handful of mixed salad leaves
- ¼ avocado (diced into cubes)
- 5-6 cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1 small piece of carrot (peeled and cut into strips using a potato peeler)
- 1 small piece of cucumber (peeled and cut into strips using a potato peeler)
- 1 small piece of red pepper (thinly sliced)
- 5 black olives (stoned and halved)
- 2 slices of stale baguette
- Olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Olive oil
- 1tsp fresh dill (chopped)
- salt and pepper
Note: the quantities for the vinaigrette will be enough for 4 people.
- First prepare your croutons: slice the stale baguette into cubes, place in a baking tray and drizzle over a little olive oil (roughly 1 tablespoon) – make sure that each side of the bread has a little oil on it. Place in a preheated oven on at 190°C and bake for roughly 7- 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Next prepare the soft boiled egg: place an egg in a saucepan with a little salt and cover the egg with boiling water. Boil the egg on a medium heat for 6 minutes, then pour away the boiling water and fill the saucepan with cold, set to one side and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.
- Whilst the egg and croutons are cooking prepare your salad: place the salad leaves on a plate to form a base, add the carrot, cucumber, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, avocado and olives.
- Remove the skin from the smoked mackerel and place on top of the salad and scatter over the croutons.
- Prepare your vinaigrette: pour the lemon juice into a jam-jar, add an equal amount of olive oil, the dill and salt and pepper. Shake well.
- Finally peel your egg and carefully cut into quarters (the yolk will be runny) add it to the salad, before pouring over a little of the dressing. Serve immediately. Enjoy!