I know, I know, it's terrible.
Following a vegetarian meal in The Shed, I had leftover an enormous bowl of beetroot mezze dip. Not because it was bad - highly acclaimed in fact, even by the beetroot haters - but because there is always something I make far, far too much of and have to eat for days and days.
Anyway, on spying this recipe on eating queen Hollowlegs' blog, the mezze is such an obvious pairing for mackerel that I am mildly ashamed it didn't before cross my mind. Salty mackerel, chilli kick, earthy heat of horseradish, botanical nuance from healthy handfuls each of mint/coriander, and a zip of balsamic to bring the whole thing together. Here's the recipe for the beetroot puree, which I heartily recommend dolloping over smoked mackerel fillets and devouring with a hunk of bread and token greenery.
Predictably, I over-ordered on mackerel to do the above. If ever there's a woman to have Eyes Bigger Than Belly engraved on her tombstone, I am surely she*. However, a surplus of mackerel is no bad thing and taking inspiration from Lizzie's recipe I made the salad below. If you don't own walnut oil, go out and buy some right now, it'll revolutionise your salads no end so long as you like walnuts.
*not that the belly isn't substantial in it's own right
I still have four mackerel fillets left; does anyone have a whiz-delicious recipe?
Beetroot & Mackerel Salad, to serve four as a starter
1 pack cooked beetroot (you get slightly more flavour if you roast or boil raw beetroot, but for heavens' sake who has the time after work?)
2 fillets smoked mackerel.
1 small read onion, finely sliced
2 handfuls sugar snap peas
6 big radishes, finely sliced into rounds
2 handfuls rocket
2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
Handful toasted walnuts (optional but nice)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1 dtsp honey
100ml walnut oil
Thinly slice the beetroot into skinny rounds and arrange on four plates in an attractive fashion. Whisk together the mustard, lemon and honey, before adding the walnut oil, whisking as you go, to create an emulsified dressing; season with black pepper.
Remove the skin and any bones from the mackerel fillets, and flake the flesh into chunky pieces. Combine in a large bowl the red onion, sugar snap peas, radishes, rocket and mint with the mackerel flakes, and toss the whole lot in the dressing; taste for seasoning, I found it needed no additional salt due to the mackerel. Serve the salad atop the beetroot discs, and adorn with toasted walnuts if you feel it necessary. Pieces of soft boiled boiled egg would also be a nice touch.