This dish is ideal as a starter or light snack and serves four.
You will need the following…
2 medium size mackerel
300 g various pulses of your choice - I am using pearl barley, spelt, split peas and lentils. Leave these to soak over night if possible, if not keep topping up the water in your pan as they take a long time to cook!
Forager’s mix of findings - today I am using wood sorrel, wood avens, chickweed and fennel pollen. Remember to always be careful when foraging as some plants are not edible!
Various fresh herbs – I am using dill and parsley
Baby vegetables of your choice – I am using baby carrots, red radish and baby fennel
2 lemons – zest and juice
6 white peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of thyme leaves
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil
4 tablespoons of Womersley Lemon, Juniper and Bay Vinegar
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 pinch of saffron
1 sheet of baking parchment - cut into four pieces the size of the Mackerel fillets (not greaseproof please this will burn when you cook with it)
To Cook the Pulses
Place the soaked pulses in a pan and cover over with cold water. Add the bay leaf, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves. This will take around 25 – 30 minutes depending on the pulses you use.
Once softened place in a bowl and add the freshly squeezed lemon and zest, season and add a tablespoon of Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil and some finely chopped forager’s finds.
To Make the Pickled Liqueur
Mix together the Womersley Vinegar, white peppercorns, bay leaf, caster sugar, salt, lemon juice and zest. Bring this liquer to the boil and place the thin slices of baby vegetables of your choice into the marinade until the mixture goes cool in the pan.
During the cooling process the thinly sliced vegetables should be slightly cooked but still have a nice crisp crunch.
To Cook the Mackerel
Prepare the mackerel by filleting the fish and removing the pin bones, you can get your fishmonger to do this for you.
Rub each fillet carefully with Yorkshire Rapeseed oil and season lightly.
Leave covered on a low shelf in the fridge until required.
Soak the pinch of saffron in a tablespoon of boiling water and allow to cool. Add some mayonnaise until it is thick enough to spoon on the plate.
To Assemble the Dish
Using a hot frying pan place the four pieces of baking parchment in the pan then place the Mackerel fillets skin side down on top of this.
Whilst that is cooking (it will only take between 2- 4 minutes depending on the heat and the size of the Mackerel, remember to turn over half way through cooking) place a large spoon of pulse mixture on the plate and decorate with leaves of herbs and forager’s finds.
Once cooked place the mackerel on the top along with some slices of pickled vegetables and pour some of the Yorkshire rapeseed oil from the pulses around the plate. Serve with dots of the saffron mayonnaise and finely chopped dried fennel pollen.