Since posting my Watercress and Pomegranate salad recipe, I have really got into the salad ‘zone’. I will gladly eat salad on a daily basis – better still, when, in summer (or our version of it) it is easy to make a meal of it. It also gives me the opportunity to use up some ingredients which are a little past their advertised prime. I do buy a lot of fresh produce on a weekly basis – conservatively, I’d say it makes up around 30-40% of my average grocery bill. If I think of the fruit, herbs, vegetables – you name it, there is always something in the fridge to use. Once a week, I will have a thorough fridge audit, and work out what needs eating first, what is still perfectly fine (but out of its advertised use by date), and what sadly needs to find its resting place on the compost heap. I would love to eliminate all food waste, but there are times when it is sadly inevitably. Plans change. I get forgetful. I am no longer in the mood for…. whatever. I have inadvertently run out of a vital ingredient to go with it. Spontaneously, I go out and skip a meal I had planned later in the week. The natural light is so bad, I cannot take a photo for Love the kitchen. Too tired. etc. The list goes on…
This evening though was a result in my view.. I ransacked the vegetable drawer and a few other strategic places I cram stuff into, and found a bounty of great ingredients – all a good few days out of date. But this is the key thing, perfectly fine. My find, and what spontaneously let me to make this recipe was: a fennel bulb; chicory; blueberries; new potatoes; remains of a packet of dill (last used for my Smoked Salmon, Dill, and Red Onion Omelette); an avocado, and red onion. I have been struggling what to name this recipe as it is so packed full of flavour – I really could not reel off all the contributing ingredients in the recipe’s name – that would just be nuts. If it wasn’t for my left over ingredients in need of being eaten, this recipe would never seen the light of day. Will I adapt it? Time will tell, but for now, it is an absolute winner, even if you think the combination of smoked fish and blueberries seems disgusting. I hope you enjoy my Smoked Mackerel, Blueberry, and Fennel salad as much as I did putting it together.
Smoked Mackerel, Blueberry, and Fennel Salad
- 1 tbsp fresh dill finely chopped
- 1 x tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 x tbsp olive oil
- 1 x tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 x tsp liquid honey
- 8 x small new potatoes
- 2 x smoked mackerel fillets skinned and diagonally sliced
- 1 x large handful salad leaves (or shredded cos lettuce, rocket etc)
- 1 x chicory bulb finely julienned
- 1/2 fennel bulb finely julienned
- 1/2 avocado pear peeled and sliced diagonally
- 1/2 red onion cut vertically, then thinly sliced into semi-circles
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 2 x slices lemon and fresh dill leaves to garnish
- black pepper to taste
- First, cook the potatoes. This is the only cooking required. Either boil in slightly salted water, or steam for approximately 14-20 minutes. I prefer them to have a slightly firmer texture. Once cooked, allow to cool but allow a little heat to remain.
- Meanwhile, put the chopped dill in a small bowl or ramekin, and our over the wine vinegar. Mix through so that the vinegar starts to infuse the flavour of the dill. Then, add the honey, mustard, and olive oil, season to taste and mix well (I use a mini whisk). Set aside.
- Now, salad assembly begins. The amount of effort you want to put into this is totally up to you.
- Add the salad leaves to the bottom of a large salad bowl. Then, distribute evenly the julienned chicory, fennel, and sliced red onion.
- Next, slice the potatoes in half, and place evenly. Then, take the avocado slices, and carefully place between the potatoes.
- Then, sprinkle the blueberries on top as evenly as possible.
- Carefully, take the smoked mackerel slices (as they have been skinned, they'll be quite delicate) and lay in spoke formation so that they join in the centre. Then, add the lemon slices and dill in the centre to garnish.
- Finally, drizzle the dressing over the salad.
- Grind black pepper over the salad to taste.