Mackerel with a Lentil and Yoghurt Salad

September 19th, 2008

This is loosley based on a Jamie Oliverrecipe, he does pan-fried salmon with puy lentils dressed with garlic, lemon juice, oil and lots of herbs, some spinach stirred in and wilted; with yoghurt drizzled over the top. I’ve made this before and its delicious, I could eat a big bowl of the garlicky lentils all on their own, and I tend to put yoghurt on most things so its always a plus.

I had this recipe in mind when I took some mackerel out of the freezer for dinner. However, I decided to do a slightly different lentil salad that I came up with working at Piece of Plenty. This has a slight Arabian influence if you will, lentils dressed with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, ground corinader and cumin, with lots of red onion, this is left to macerate, allowing the flavours to sink in. Its drizzled with yoghurt, and flecked with chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds to serve.

This is a perfect lunch all by itself, but it went particularly well with the mackerel, the freshness of the yoghurt, parsley and pomegranate really cut through the oiliness of the fish.

I used to make this with thin slices of red onion, but they can get a bit soggy if you leave it for a few days, so I think finely diced onions work better. If you’re going to eat it all in one go, then the thin slices are good.

Serves 4

4 mackerels, filleted
150g puy lentils or lentilles vertes
1 lemon
3tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
250g yoghurt
pomegranate seeds to serve

  • Season the yoghurt, add the juice of ½ lemon, stir and leave until ready to eat.
  • Cover the lentils with water in a pan, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 5mins, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 20-30mins until soft, don’t add salt to the water, otherwise they’ll turn into hard little bullets.
  • Drain, return to the pan and whilst still hot dress with the olive oil, the juice of the remaining ½ lemon, ground coriander, cumin, garlic and salt and pepper.
  • Then, stir in the red onions.

(This can all be done in advance, just re-heat the lentils before serving. They are still exquisite eaten at room temperature also)

  • Drizzle olive oil over the mackerel with some seasoning and rub into the flesh.
  • Heat a pan until smoking hot, and fry the mackerel for 3mins on each side.
  • To serve sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley over with a dollop of the yoghurt dressing and enjoy!
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