Chilli-spiked grilled mackerel with lemon pickle, young spinach and sumac

Chilli-spiked grilled mackerel with lemon pickle, young spinach and sumac

By
From
Grill Smoke BBQ
Serves
4
Photographer
Kris Kirkham

In various guises, this dish has served us well over the years. Like many other oily fish, mackerel works brilliantly over a grill as the natural oils lubricate the flesh as it cooks. The lemon pickle is one of my favourite condiments, relying solely on beautiful-quality lemons. It’s so easy to make – and the remainder will last in the fridge for a good couple of weeks, ready to serve with any grilled or roasted meat or fish.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 unwaxed organic lemons, cut into quarters and seeds removed
2 tablespoons caster sugar
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon marjoram or oregano leaves, stalks reserved
2 small mackerel, pin-boned and skin, lightly scored
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon sumac
olive oil, for cooking
sea salt
black pepper

Method

  1. First make the pickle. Place the lemons, sugar and extra virgin olive oil in a blender, blitz to a purée and then quickly blend in the marjoram or oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding a little more sugar if you’d like it sweeter.
  2. Light the barbecue and set for direct/indirect cooking.
  3. Throw the reserved herb stalks onto the charcoal. Rub the mackerel with olive oil and season all over with salt and pepper and the chilli flakes. Like sardines, the skin on mackerel is quite delicate, so make sure your grill is clean and hot to help avoid sticking. Lay the fish on a clean grill in the indirect heat zone. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until the skin is crispy and charred and the flesh is starting to become opaque. Mackerel benefits from being left a little pink in the middle. Remove the mackerel from the grill, squeeze over some lemon juice and leave to rest while you prepare the spinach.
  4. Place a medium saucepan in the direct heat zone. Add a lug of olive oil and the baby spinach leaves. Season and cook, stirring, until just wilted.
  5. Serve the mackerel on a bed of spinach with the lemon pickle on the side. Sprinkle with the sumac and some more fresh marjoram leaves, if you like.

Serve with

  • Beetroot with blood orange, almonds and chard; Smoked cod with white beans, clams and parsley.
Tags:
Ember Yard
Salt Yard
Dehesa
Opera Tavern
Soho restaurants
Italian
French
small plates
tapas
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