Grilled mackerel in vine leaves – By Samantha Clark

07 February 2008
Grilled mackerel in vine leaves – By Samantha Clark

Ingredients (Serves four)

For the walnut tarator 150g walnuts
1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt
1/2tsp ground allspice
3tbs olive oil
11/2tbs red wine vinegar
4tbs water

For the cabbage salad 1/2 large white cabbage (about 500g)
2tsp dried Turkish (mild) chilli flakes
50g shelled walnuts, broken up
1 medium bunch (about 20g) of dill, coarsely chopped
3tbs extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

For the mackerel 4 large mackerel, scaled and gutted
8-12 fresh or bottled vine leaves, blanched if fresh, rinsed if bottled
2tbs olive oil

The walnut tarator is perhaps the most classic of Turkish tarators, but another favourite is a version made with pine nuts. Grind the nuts quite finely in a mortar and pestle or food processor, then add the garlic and allspice. Combine the olive oil with the vinegar and water and gradually mix them into the walnuts to make a white, aromatic emulsified sauce with the consistency of thin mayonnaise. Add a little more water if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the salad, shred the cabbage as finely as possible and toss with the chilli flakes, walnuts and dill. Prepare a dressing with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and set aside. Do not dress the salad until you are ready to serve.

Preheat a griddle or barbecue. To prepare the mackerel, season the fish with sea salt and black pepper, then wrap each one in 2-3 vine leaves. Brush the outside with the olive oil. Briskly grill the fish on the preheated ridged griddle pan or barbecue for 4-5 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Serve with the dressed salad and tarator sauce.

Sherry match by Moro 2006 Terras Gauda O Rosal, Rias Baixas, Spain

By Samantha Clark, Co-proprietor, Moro, London

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