Moroccan Mackerel and Citrus Couscous

September 22nd, 2008

I’m rather proud of this one. Whilst I was supposed to be working, I naturally began thinking of what I was going to cook for the rest of the week. I’ve been thinking about the delicious Mackerel superfood salad from Leon for a while- its all Moroccan sweet and spice with dried apricots, hazelnuts and lemon zest. I couldn’t glean much from the menu so did a little recipe investigation online and came up with the recipe below.

Happily, it turned out exactly as planned, I used orange zest and juice, which goes perfectly with the oily fish. Some toasted almonds add texture and parsley for freshness along with ground coriander and ginger for spicy depth. I was also unsure about using the broccoli, it seemed such a strange combination to me, but it works perfectly adding some welcome crunch.

Next time, I’m keen to try other variations…Fennel and black olive with dried apricots or cucumber instead of the broccoli, rocket for added punch. Either way, try this and let me know your thoughts/variations.

Ps: yes, more mackerel. This time, we used a mixture of smoked mackerel and tinned, purely because that’s what we had. I’ve never eaten tinned mackerel before, it actually tasted pretty good and works perfectly fine in this recipe. Given the choice, I would use smoked mackerel next time though for extra flavour. In other news…I’m also mourning the addition of anchovies to the fish to avoid list (you can still buy them from sustainable sources though).


Serves 4
350g couscous
2tsp ground ginger
2tsp ground coriander
½tsp salt
350ml vegetable stock
1 head brocolli
75ml orange juice – about ½ large orange
zest 1 orange
4tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ red chilli, finely chopped
100g flaked almonds, toasted in a dry pan until golden
1 small red onion
250g smoked mackerel

  • Toss the cous cous with the ground ginger, ground coriander and salt. Pour over the stock, cover and allow to steep.
  • Cut the broccoli into small chunks, I did mine as small as possible but you might like it chunkier. Either steam or boil for a few mins until cooked but still with a little bite. To maintain the vibrant green of broccoli when boiling, mak sure its tipped into boiling water, not cold.
  • Once the couscous has soaked up all the stock, fluff with a fork and add the garlic, chilli,red onion, orange juice and zest and olive oil.
  • Once the broccoli is cooked, drain and add to the cous cous with the smoked mackerel, parsley and flaked almonds. Stir well and taste, you may need a little more orange juice or olive oil to lubricate, it should be zinging with flavour.
  • Pile onto a plate to serve and top with some parsley, flaked almonds and extra orange zest.
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