Great friends of mine get so excited about the arrival of the herring season that they buy as much as they can and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner - pickled, kippered, soused and grilled! A simple fillet fried in butter and oats is my favourite method. And herring’s health benefits are not to be scoffed at. As a nation we should champion these old, but now scarce, treats when in season.
4 fillets of fresh herring
1 large handful of medium oats (I use porridge oats)
100g butter, melted
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
A squirt of cold-pressed rapeseed oil
Knob of butter
A handful of salad leaves (I like watercress), to serve
1 lemon, to serve
On the hob, heat a pan to a moderate temperature and add the rapeseed oil and a knob of butter.
Dip the herring fillets in the melted butter, then in the oats.
Place the fillets into the hot pan skin-side down and cook for a few minutes on both sides until golden. Season with a little salt, pepper and lemon juice as you cook.
To serve, simply plate the fish with some leaves and a wedge of lemon.