Smoked mack­erel, fen­nel and al­mond sand­wich

The Observer Food Monthly - - CONTENTS - Re­becca Oliver

The fen­nel sauce is more eas­ily made in a blender, but the more authen­tic way of do­ing it is with a pes­tle and mor­tar, as it is less waste­ful. Makes 1 smoked mack­erel 1 fil­let ex­tra vir­gin olive oil lemon 1 shal­lot ½, finely diced fen­nel seeds ¼ tsp (op­tional) gar­lic 1 clove flat-leaf pars­ley 1 big hand­ful, picked fen­nel fronds small bunch or the top half of a fen­nel, finely diced white-wine vine­gar (mosca­tel, if pos­si­ble) a drib­ble mus­tard 1 tsp capers 1 tsp (op­tional) caster sugar to taste mix of ro­bust salad, like chicory, wa­ter­cress, dan­de­lion, fen­nel, grated cele­riac 1 big hand­ful foc­ca­cia a 12cm square horse­rad­ish a cou­ple of grat­ings (from a jar works fine too) roasted al­monds 1 tbsp, roughly chopped


Break up the mack­erel to your lik­ing and dress with a lit­tle oil and lemon juice. Lightly mix through the shal­lot.

Crush the fen­nel seeds in a pes­tle and mor­tar. Con­tinue in the mor­tar or pour the crushed seeds into a blender. If us­ing a pes­tle and mor­tar, finely chop the gar­lic, pars­ley and fen­nel fronds, or just add all to the blender. Bash or whizz, with a big pinch of salt and a glug of oil, till the con­sis­tency of a thick sauce or a thin-ish pesto, adding more oil if needs be. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice, the white-wine vine­gar, mus­tard and capers. Sea­son with salt, sugar (may be needed to coun­ter­act the vine­gar) and pep­per to taste.

Dress your salad leaves with a tiny bit of oil and a squeeze of lemon.

Lay your mack­erel on your bread and sea­son with pep­per. Grate the horse­rad­ish over the top, then very lightly spoon about 2-3 ta­ble­spoons of sauce over the mack­erel, scat­ter the al­monds over the top and then fin­ish with the salad. Place the other half of bread on top and care­fully wrap in some lovely brown parch­ment.

Smoked mack­erel sand­wich

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