Mackerel with bread and almond sauce

Mackerel with bread and almond sauce

By
From
Spring
Serves
4
Photographer
Andy Sewell

Thick, creamy and garlicky – this sauce is a gloriously punchy accompaniment for almost any grilled oily fish. Here I’ve paired it with mackerel, but it would work equally well with sardines or anchovies. Serve the dish with seasonal greens or a simple salad of ripe tomatoes, olives and oregano.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 medium mackerel, scaled and gutted
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

Quantity Ingredient
80g blanched almonds
120g good quality day-old bread, crusts removed
5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 dried red chilli
2 tablespoons marjoram leaves
250ml extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to serve
1 lemon, finely grated zest and juiced

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
sliced red chilli
lemon wedges
wilted spinach

Method

  1. First, make the sauce. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Scatter the almonds on a baking tray and roast on the middle shelf of the oven for ­ minutes – to tickle out their nutty sweet flavour, rather than brown them. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Tear the bread into pieces, place in a bowl and pour on about 300ml cold water. Leave to soak for a couple of minutes, then squeeze out excess water using clean hands.
  3. Put the almonds and bread in a food processor along with the garlic, chilli and marjoram. Whiz until combined, then with the motor running, slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil through the funnel. Once all the oil is incorporated, add the lemon juice and 1 tbsp warm water. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more salt or lemon juice if you think it is necessary. You can also add a little more warm water if you would like a slightly thinner consistency.
  4. When ready to cook the fish, preheat the grill to its highest setting. Rinse the mackerel inside and out. Slash each fish 3 or 4 times on each side and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place on the grill rack and cook under the grill for 4 minutes on each side.
  5. Transfer the grilled mackerel to warm plates. Add a generous spoonful of the garlicky sauce, a few chilli slices and a trickle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve at once, with lemon wedges for squeezing and wilted spinach.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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