Smoked mackerel, fennel and almond sandwich
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