|Home smoked Scottish mackerel and nectarine salad|
Mackerel is a delicious and extremely nutritious fish, readily available to catch in Scottish inshore waters in the summer months. It is unfortunately scorned by a great many pleasure anglers, often seen as being nothing more than a fresh bait opportunity for catching other species. If you do catch some mackerel or have access to some which have been some freshly caught, there are a great many easy ways in which you can cook it up and serve it on a plate to delight your taste buds and those of your family. It may not seem obvious but a great accompaniment to particularly smoked mackerel is sweet fresh fruit such as peaches or nectarines. This simple salad has deliberately very few ingredients to allow the flavour of the smoked mackerel to shine through.
|Freshly smoked mackerel|
Ingredients (Serves 1)
1 freshly smoked whole mackerel
4 or 5 lettuce leaves
Salt and pepper
Bread and butter to serve (optional)
|Mackerel are ready to come out of the smoker|
I should point out here that home smoked mackerel is very different from the smoked mackerel purchased in vacuum packs in supermarkets. The commercial product is very often artificially dyed that bright orange colour and does not have nearly the same flavour levels as the fresh option. If the pack mackerel is all you have access to, this recipe idea will still work but it really is more than worth the effort to get hold of some of the fresh stuff or try smoking mackerel at home yourself.
|Slicing flesh from a nectarine|
Wash the lettuce leaves and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Roll them together like a fat cigar and shred. Add to a large mixing bowl. Wash and dry the nectarine and slice the flesh off the stone. Roughly chop and add to the bowl with the lettuce.
|Peeling skin from a smoked mackerel|
The skin on mackerel is so thin that it is nigh on impossible to remove it when the fish is fresh and raw. Following the hot smoking process, however, the skin toughens up and can fairly easily be peeled free when the mackerel is cool.
|Plucking skin from a smoked mackerel|
Pluck the flesh from the cooled, skinned mackerel is small bite-sized chunks, being careful to remove any bones. It should come away from the skeleton very easily, with most of the bones other than at the head end staying attached to the main body.
|Combining smoked mackerel and nectarine salad ingredients|
Add the mackerel chunks to the bowl with the other salad ingredients. Season with just a little salt (the mackerel will have been preseasoned prior to being smoked) and some black pepper. Carefully stir fold to combine with a large spoon before arranging in a deep serving plate and serving with some bread and butter.
|Plated smoked mackerel and nectarine salad|