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Smoked Mackerel Salad

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

Smoked mackerel salad

Those smoked fish lounging on the left hand side of a fishmonger’s stall are always a bit sad. On the left there’s a glistening variety of colours and textures, pastel salmon and snapper, inky and gunky squid and monkfish, orange scallop corral and sometimes langoustines – pink even raw. Snug on their ice beds, with a sprig of parsley or a quarter of lemon to adorn them, occasional heads glaring fiercely with bright eyes that testify of freshness.

On the left – wrinkly sprats, splayed dry-looking kippers, vacuum-packed kiln salmon and trout; amongst the plastic buckets of crayfish and crates of prawns by a pint: definitely a more miserable bunch. And the fat golden mackerel, arguably more handsome than the rest, so let's be tempted to rescue one.

What to do with it? Well, my grandmother used to meticulously divest the fillets of pin bones and turn it to a pâté/sandwich paste with some smashed hard-boiled eggs and a little mayo. It was great – but very 1970s.

Better to do one of those salads that the trendy bunch call ‘super-salads’. Throw in some avocado – you can’t go wrong with it these days. Chuck in an unusual ingredient: a lightly cooked celeriac here; a bit of apple and cucumber for the fresh flavour and you’re there: seasoning is ad lib. Tonnes of omega 3 from the mackerel - and it's mighty tasty!

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