Barbecued or griddled mackerel with wild fennel

Serves 4

If you are barbecuing on the beach, mackerel is the perfect fish to cook. Wild fennel is a prolific wild herb which can be found growing in most seaside locations. It's perfect for stuffing whole fish, or for chopping into a sauce, salad or dressing.

4 small mackerel, heads removed and gutted
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 handfuls of wild fennel

For the fennel salad

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, feathery fronds reserved
2tbsp good-quality cider vinegar
1tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil

First prepare the salad. Quarter the fennel bulb, then, using a mandolin or extremely sharp knife, shred it as finely as possible. Tip into a bowl, add the cider vinegar and some salt and white pepper, and toss to mix. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Roughly chop the reserved fennel fronds.

Drain off most of the vinegar from the salad and add the rapeseed oil and chopped fennel fronds. Toss well.

Heat up the barbecue or ridged griddle pan. Score the mackerel 4 or 5 times across their width through the skin, season with salt and pepper and brush with a little oil. Stuff the wild fennel into the cavities. Cook the mackerel on the barbecue or griddle pan over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side. Serve with the fennel salad.

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