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Recipe: healthy mackerel salad

PUBLISHED: 13:07 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:07 02 January 2018

Mackerel salad

Mackerel salad

Archant

The chef patron and owner of Kent Life's Restaurant of the Year 2017, Chapter One, gets us back on track for a healthy New Year

Like clockwork, without fail countless Brits join together to detox from a rather indulgent Christmas in hope of kickstarting the year with a healthier lifestyle. Admittedly, in the past I’ve succumbed and put myself under pressure to shed a few pounds. Not so long ago it was under the guise of a new year’s resolution, now it’s become a real movement with ‘Veganuary’ quickly growing in popularity and Dry January firmly being an established national health campaign.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that taking part in either will be a great benefit or your health. I for one will make a vague attempt to detox with either a lighter fish dish or s salad or two, but I’m afraid I’ll probably fall at the first hurdle and succumb to the first piece of venison and bottle of red wine.

However, in the spirit of a healthier January, I’ve created a recipe for those of you who are looking for a tasty but lighter meal option.

Chefs are famously known for cooking everything with butter – tons of it. Even though there’s good reason for it, as it adds great depth of flavour by caramelising the food, it’s not the only way to make your dish sing.

If you’re planning to incorporate more vegetables into your diet this month, here are my top tips:

• Add flavour with herbs and spices – don’t be afraid to experiment, this is the best way to get your family to eat more greens

• Don’t overcook your vegetables - they should be al dente

• Grilling or roasting vegetables is a great way to caramelise them, which adds great flavour

Why not try my grilled mackerel salad with celeriac remoulade, hazelnut dressing and pickled trompette mushrooms as a healthy way to start your year. Enjoy!

Recipe: Mackerel salad (serves 4)

Ingredients:

- 4 medium sized mackerel (filleted and pinboned)

- ½ lemon

- Celeriac remoulade

- 1 small celeriac

- 4 tbsp mayonnaise

- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

- salt and pepper

Method

Peel and finely slice the celeriac into long julienne (like long matchsticks). Take a large pan of boiling salted water and blanch the celeriac for 30 seconds. Remove from the water and plunge into iced water to refresh. Drain off the excessive water and gently squeeze the celeriac to remove all the water. Take a bowl and combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard with the celeriac. Season to taste and refrigerate until needed.

Hazelnut dressing

- 50g peeled and roasted hazelnuts

- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

- 2 tbsp hazelnut oil

- 1 tbsp chopped chives

Method

Roast and lightly crush the nuts, add the balsamic, hazelnut oil and chives. Season to taste and set aside until needed.

Pickled trompettes

- 100g washed trompette mushrooms

- 1 small shallot (chopped finely)

- 1 clove garlic (crushed and chopped)

- 50ml olive oil

- 20ml white wine

- 10ml white wine vinegar

- salt and pepper

Method

Take a large frying pan and heat. Add a tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan. Quickly add the mushrooms and toss. Then add the shallots, vinegar and white wine continuing to cook. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Add the contents of the pan to the remaining olive oil. Place in a bowl or a jar. These mushrooms are best served at room temperature, however, they can be covered and refrigerated for up to a week.

To assemble the dish

Season and place the mackerel fillets under a hot grill until cooked, which will take approx 2-3 minutes (I personally like it when the skin bubbles and very slightly burns). Squeeze a little lemon over the top. Take a plate and place a generous dollop of remoulade at the top. Add the mackerel fillets, sprinkle the hazelnut dressing over and the finish with the pickled mushrooms and serve.

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