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Saffron orange soused mackerel salad, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

15 May 2010

This recipe by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel is designed to make the most of May's seasonal flavours. For more recipes using ingredients that reach their peak this month, see our feature Flavours of May.

(Serves four)

For the saffron orange soused mackerel

• 4 large mackerel fillets, pin-bones and scales removed
• 1tbs olive oil

For the vinaigrette (use half for the fish and the rest for the salad)

• 50ml freshly squeezed orange juice
• 3tsp Dijon mustard
• 1tbs soy sauce
• 3tsp white wine vinegar
• 3tsp runny honey
• 50ml olive oil
• Pinch of saffron
• ½tsp crushed coriander seeds
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the raw fennel, kohlrabi and chicory salad

• 1 bulb of fennel
• 1 bulb of Kohlrabi
• 1tbs chopped fresh dill
• Zest and segments of two oranges
• 1 small head of white chicory
• Tahoon or Mustard Cress (optional)
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Saffron orange vinaigrette Place all the ingredients apart from the oil in a jug of a blender and season the vinaigrette lightly, as the soy sauce is salty. Blend and slowly add the oil to form an emulsion, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Leave the vinaigrette to infuse while preparing the mackerel and salad.

Mackerel Wash the mackerel fillets under cold running water and pat the fillets dry with kitchen paper. Cut each fillet of mackerel on an angle to create three even-sized diamond shapes. Score the skin of each diamond several times; do not cut all the way through to the flesh just the skin. This prevents the fish from curling up and allows the fish to cook evenly.

Season the mackerel lightly. Heat a non-stick frying pan with the olive oil and place the mackerel diamonds skin-side down in the hot but not smoking pan, press down, with two fingers, on top of each piece for a few seconds to prevent it from curling up. Sauté for two minutes until crisp and the skin is golden brown. Flip the fish over and turn the heat off and pour over half the marinade into the warm pan.

Immediately remove the fish and reduced sauce from the pan, leave to rest while plating up the salad.

Raw fennel, kohlrabi and chicory salad Wash the fennel bulb, remove the outer layer and use a sharp mandolin to finely shave the fennel into a large mixing bowl.

Peel the kohlrabi and finely slice using the mandolin, then finely julienne by using a sharp knife, add the julienned kohlrabi to the fennel.

Wash the chicory, remove the root end and separate the leaves, add the chicory to the fennel mixture, add the orange zest, orange segments and chopped dill and season to taste.

Add the other half of the saffron orange vinaigrette to taste when you are ready to serve.

To serve Place three neat piles of the salad on the plate, top each with a diamond of mackerel and garnish the salad with the tahoon or mustard cress and drizzle round the reduced marinade from the pan.

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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