Serves 4

I was brought up on soused mackerel as a kid and I often put it on our menus now. While I was judging a young chef competition down at the Weymouth Food Festival last year, one of the contenders served up a delicious hot soused mackerel dish which inspired me to create this dish. Unripened green tomatoes have so many possibilities, especially when they are pan-fried, deep-fried or chopped up in a salsa. If you grow your own tomatoes, you are bound to get a good crop of green ones that struggle to ripen in our inconsistent British sunshine – or you can just pick them when they are green.

4 mackerel fillets weighing about 100-120g each or 8 smaller ones, boned
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced on the angle
2 large shallots, cut into rings
12 black peppercorns
tsp fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
125ml white wine or cider vinegar
125ml water
2tsp sea salt
4 large green tomatoes, cut into 1cm-thick slices
A couple of tablespoons of vegetable or corn oil
Shredded parsley leaves (optional)

Put the carrots, shallots, peppercorns, fennel seeds, bay leaf, vinegar, sea salt and water in a non-reactive, wide saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drop in the mackerel fillets and simmer gently for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.

Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan. Season the tomatoes and fry them on a high heat for a couple of minutes on each side, then remove from the pan and arrange in a line on warmed plates. Remove the mackerel from the cooking liquid and lay on the tomatoes with some of the carrots and shallots. Scatter with the parsley, if using; serve.

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