I am sure that you would quite agree that all this rain of late is beginning to get a bit tiresome. With the old cottage springing a leak and water dripping from our drawing room ceiling this week, it would appear that perhaps we will be needing wellies and umbrellas inside as well as out! Desperate for a little sunshine in my life, I decided to unearth an old recipe that always puts me in mind of blissfully warm Provençal evenings and glasses of rosé. Our glorious hens’ eggs provide the perfect dose of sunshine yellow on a plate too! I close my eyes and I am almost in France…..almost!
MACKEREL SALAD (serves 2)
2 fresh mackerel fillets
2 rashers smoked streaky bacon
handful of black olives
4 anchovy fillets (thinly sliced)
Little gem lettuce (or another crisp type of leaf such as Romaine)
3 hard boiled eggs
I tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper
The dressing can be made in larger quantities – apply a 2:1 ratio with the oil and vinegar, 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/gas mark 6.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan (it must be able to go into the oven) and once hot, press the mackerel fillets firmly down into the oil, skin side down. Try not to allow the mackerel to curl up. Fry until the skin takes on a bit of colour, then turn and place in the oven for 10mins whilst you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
Cut the bacon into small lardons and fry until crispy. Assemble the lettuce, olives, anchovies and add the crispy bacon bits. Then slice the hard boiled eggs into four and add to the bowl.
In a small ramekin (or salad dressing shaker), add all the vinaigrette ingredients and stir with a fork (or shake if using salad dressing shaker) until the oil emulsifies and the dressing begins to thicken.
Remove the mackerel from the oven and cut each fillet into three. Add to the bowl and pour over the dressing.
Serve with a little toasted baguette for added Frenchness – sunshine in under 15mins!