"Mackerel is one of, if not my very favourite fish and there are a lot of them out there in our oceans. Absolutely delicious pan-fried with good oil, lemon and salt. A wonderful dish to eat with a simple salad of shaved fennel, and that sharp piquant hit from the capers in the sauce. Be careful not to burn the fish when cooking. Get the non-stick pan out for this dish!"
Prep time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 4 minutes
2 fillets of fresh mackerel, all bones removed
1/2 fennel bulb, peeled
A few salad leaves
Chopped mixed herbs, like chervil and dill
1 tablespoon mini capers
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon lemon vinegar, or any fruit vinegar will do
2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil
Juice of half a lemon
Good salt and pepper
Make the salad by slicing the fennel on a mandolin or cutting very thinly with a knife. Add this to a bowl with the chopped parsley, vinegar, capers, 1 teaspoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Set to one side.
Place a non-stick pan on a moderately hot hob and heat 1 tablespoon of oil, swirling it to coat the base of the pan. Ensure the fish is dry, then carefully place the fillets skin-side-down into the hot pan. Press down lightly with a fish slice, then season with salt and pepper. Ensure the skin is in contact with the oil and doesn’t warp in the heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, season again, then carefully turn over and cook for 45 seconds. I prefer it to be cooked slightly under, rather than over.
Remove the mackerel from the pan and place straight onto a plate. Garnish with the fennel salad and a few mixed leaves and herbs. Drizzle with the remaining oil and a good squeeze of lemon.