We always peel it, because it looks better once cooked, and the peelings are good for soup, stocks and sauces. Once peeled, we lay it on an oven tray, drizzle (there's no better word for it!) with best olive oil and season with Maldons sea salt and freshly milled black pepper. Roast for 5 or 6 minutes at 180 C, cool enough to pick up and then add a little good balsamic vinegar. All you have to then is scoff the lot or share with friends or family. Some may prefer lovely melted butter. That's fine too, but this way is healthier...!
Wild garlic and Sussex Slipcote cheese soup, with watercress
1 onion roughly chopped
2 or 3 sticks of chopped celery
1 chopped leek
1 diced medium potatoe
1 bunch of chopped watercress (optional for flavour and colour)
12oz or so of High Weald Dairy Sussex Slipcote cheese
2 generous handfuls of chopped wild garlic leaves
1 litre of preferred stock (vegetable or chicken)
and seasoning of Maldon's sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a little grated nutmeg
Sweat onion, leek and potato in oil but avoid browning. Add stock and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Season and cool for a while. You will need a good blender with a tight lid to finish the soup. Pour the soup base into blender and add chopped wild garlic, watercress and cheese. Carefully blend until creamy and pleasantly green. Adjust seasoning and serve with some herby croutons, perhaps.
Grilled soy marinated mackerel with puy lentils and watercress, pomegranate red onion and chives.
Kikkoman soy sauce
4 mackerel fillets bones removed
6 oz puy lentils(soaked overnight)
1 bunch watercress
1 shallot finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 dessert spoon Dijon mustard
1 small red onion
a few chopped chives
2 pomegranates (juice and seeds)
First of all cook the lentils. Sweat shallots and garlic until soft, add lentils, stir and add water to cover. cook to personal taste, add dijon mustard. Whilst lentils are cooking, prepare mackerel fillets. Make small incisions on skin side to allow soy sauce to penetrate. Lay in dish and baste with soy ready for grilling. For the pomegranate- sweat a little chopped red onion, add juice and carefully reduce by half. add the seeds, allow to cool, then add finely chopped chives.
To assemble. Grill mackerel until skin is beginning to color and crisp(4/5 minutes under hot grill) . Plate up warm lentils and a generous sprig of watercress, serve fish on top of lentils and spoon a little pomegranate and chive dressing around. A sprinkling of chopped cashew nuts would be a pleasant optional extra.
On request for a 'healthy' recipe for the Centre For Health -