Warm Mackerel and Cucumber Salad

Initial preparation should be done an hour or so before final cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • salt
  • 1 lb / 455 g mackerel fillets
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2½ fl oz / 70 ml apple juice
  • 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz / 110 g salad leaves, washed and dried
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Slice the cucumber very thinly on a mandolin or use the slicing disc of a food processor. Place the slices in a colander or sieve, sprinkle with a little salt, and leave to drain for 1 hour. Meanwhile prepare the fish. Remove any bones with tweezers, and cut the fillets into neat oblique slices about 1 in / 2.5 cm. wide. Mix the mustard and apple juice, and pour into a shallow dish. Lay the onion in the dish, and place the pieces of fish on top, skin-side up. Press well down so that the fish is in contact with the onions and the marinade. Leave for 1 hour.

Rinse and dry the cucumber very thoroughly, squeezing it in a clean tea-towel if necessary. Fry it in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil for about 2 minutes, until it wilts and the colour brightens. Put it to one side. Remove the mackerel from the marinade, and pat it dry on kitchen paper. Fry in a little more olive oil for 1–2 minutes on each side. Arrange the salad leaves on four plates. Spoon the cucumber into the centre and arrange the pieces of smoked mackerel around it. Add the rest of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the marinade to the frying pan, add a pinch of salt and pepper, bring to the boil and pour it over the salad. Fresh dill, coriander or chervil can be used to garnish and flavour.

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