Sunday, 4 May 2014

Grilled Mackerel with Tarragon & Grape Vinaigrette

For a small island nation, I find it quite astonishing how little fish we eat here in Ireland. Fish contains many essential vitamins and minerals and in my opinion is the ultimate in fast food. It takes little time to cook and provided you show just a little care and attention, you will be well rewarded on the taste front. I think a lot of our collective reluctance about eating and cooking fresh fish at home stems from the fact that most of us are unsure about how to cook it. In this recipe, the fish is grilled and I promise you that provided you follow the timings, the dish is extremely simple to make and incredibly delicious to eat.

In my previous post, I wrote about my introduction to smoked mackerel and about how much I love its taste. I also love the taste of fresh mackerel and think that this recipe really showcases all the wonderful qualities of the fish.

I have grilled the mackerel and served it simply with some potatoes and a green grape and tarragon vinaigrette. I used a chardonnay vinegar to make the vinaigrette, and if you can get your hands on some, I urge you to do the same as it possesses a smoothness which complements the other elements of the dish perfectly, but if you are unable to source some, I would use an apple cider vinegar in its place.

We should all eat more fish and I hope that you will try this recipe out, because it is absolutely yum and so quick and easy to make.


4 fillets of mackerel, cleaned and pin-boned
200g baby new potatoes
2 tomatoes, skinned, chopped into small dice (remove and discard the seeds and pulpy interiors)

15 green seedless grapes
A handful of fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
1tsp Dijon mustard
1tblsp chardonnay vinegar
3-4tblsp extra virgin olive oil
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice


1. Place the potatoes in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and allow to simmer until just cooked through. Drain and keep warm.
2. Cut the grapes in half and place in a small bowl. Lightly season with salt.
3. Mix the mustard, vinegar and olive oil together with a small whisk. Add the chopped tarragon and a little lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
To finish:
4. Meanwhile put turn on the grill - up to its highest setting. Place the mackerel fillets onto a small baking tray, skin-side up and place under the grill for 4 minutes until the skin starts to colour and slightly blister. Remove from the grill and squeeze a little lemon juice over the grilled fish.
5. Slice each of the potatoes into 2 or 3 slices and arrange on warm plates. Scatter around a few grapes and the chopped tomatoes. Drizzle over some of the dressing and place a grilled mackerel fillet on top. Serve.
Serves 4.