Pan-fried mackerel fillets with kale, beetroot, hazelnut, and blood orange
MACKEREL is a beautiful-looking, oily fish that is not only value for money but sustainable, and very good for you. It works well with acidic fruity flavours, such as gooseberry sauce and salsas in the summer. At this time of year, the zesty sharp notes of citrus fruits are perfect partners. Either grill and squeeze over some Seville orange juice instead of lemon or make use of this month’s seasonal star, the blood orange.
This recipe showcases a range of different colours and flavours — earthy beets, mouthwatering orange, crunchy hazelnuts and sweet date syrup. Serves: four generously
4 medium beetroots or 4 cooked beetroots, in their own juice, not vinegar 30g hazelnuts, blanched ½ small red onion a pinch each of salt and caster sugar 2 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar 1 tsp silan/date syrup 3 blood or standard oranges 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 8 fresh mackerel fillets 200g baby kale
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Scrub the beetroots and wrap in foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes until tender. Leave to cool and, when cool enough to handle, peel and quarter. If you are using ready-cooked beetroots, simply quarter them.
While the beetroots are cooking, toast the hazelnuts for five to 10 minutes, until fragrant and bronzed. Leave to cool, then roughly chop.
Meanwhile, finely chop the red onion, transfer to a bowl and add vinegar, plus a pinch of salt and of sugar, stir and set aside.
Using a serrated knife and — holding the oranges over a bowl to collect any juice — cut away the very top and bottom of each one. Slice off the pith and peel, then cut the flesh into segments. Squeeze the pithy middles of the oranges into the bowl before discarding. You will need to collect about three tablespoons of juice.
Strain the red onion — pour the vinegar into a bowl or jug with three tablespoons of orange juice.
Whisk in two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
Add the silan; season and taste. If the oranges are not overly sweet, you may need more silan.
Rub the mackerel fillets with a little extra-virgin olive on both sides and season them.
Heat a frying pan over a high heat. When hot, put in the mackerel fillets, skin-side down and fry for three to four minutes over a high heat, then turn them over and cook for a further minute or two, until cooked through.
While they are frying, put the baby kale leaves in a large bowl, add the beetroots, orange segments, onion and hazelnuts. Pour over the dressing.
Add the orange segments and onion to the beetroot and kale; pour over the dressing and very gently toss to combine.
Divide the salad between the four plates and top each plate with two mackerel fillets.