"People have been pickling herring since medieval times. In Old Norse ‘herring’ means ‘army’. These vast silver shoals were on the move and needed to be contained and conquered! Pickled herring makes a refreshing change from smoked salmon or mackerel and is low in fat and high in Omega 3. It’s easy to make at home and will keep the fridge for weeks. Pack some for a picnic or be brave and put one in the kid’s packed lunch box!"
4 fillets of the freshest herring your can buy
2 shallots, peeled and sliced into rings
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin slices
A few peppercorns
A small sprig of thyme
1 tablespoon of salt
200ml cider vinegar
1/2 bulb of fennel, shaved thinly on a mandolin
1 radish, sliced
1 apple, cut into matchsticks
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Make the pickle liquor first by bringing the vinegar, water and sugar to the boil with the carrot, shallot, peppercorns, thyme and pinch of salt. Remove from the heat as soon as it reaches boiling point and allow to cool in the fridge, it must be cold.
Meanwhile, rub the salt into the herring fillets and leave them to cure overnight. The next day, rinse them well, then roll them up from tail to head and secure with a cocktail stick.
Submerge the fillets in the chilled pickle liquor and leave for 2 to 3 days before eating.
To serve, slice the roll mops and arrange them on a plate, with some of the carrot and shallot from the pickling liquor, and top with a few slices of radish, the apple matchsticks and some shaved fennel. Season with salt and pepper and serve.