This mackerel with crunchy crumbs and fennel is simple to cook and is fresh tasting with added crunch of tangy fennel. It is healthy, economical and so easy to cook. Just coat the mackerel in herb-flavoured focaccia. The delicious coating gives the fish a crispy crunch and added flavour. Serve on a bed of fresh salad leaves. This healthy lunch recipe will take 35 mins to cook and serves up to 4 people.
- 45-60g piece of herb-flavoured focaccia
- 4tsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 4 mackerel fillets (about 325g) or 2 whole mackerel, ready to cook
- Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
- 1-2 tsp roughly chopped oregano leaves
- Lemon wedges
- For the salad:
- About 10 almonds (blanched or skin still on)
- 1 med fennel bulb
Set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Tear the bread into pieces on a baking tray. Sprinkle with ½ a tsp of oil and bake for 10-12 mins, until crisp. Bake the almonds for the salad, drizzled with little oil and sprinkled with salt, at the same time. Blitz the bread in a blender into rough crumbs.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a small frying pan, add the garlic and fry over a low heat for 30 secs. Add the chilli and crumbs, increase the heat and cook for a min.
Set aside, while you cook the fish, then stir in the lemon zest and oregano.
Slash the mackerel skin a few times, rub in some oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook on a hot griddle, or in a hot frying pan, for about 2 mins on each side (4 mins each side for whole fish).
To make the salad: Reserve the fennel fronds. Discard the outer leaves and core. Finely slice the bulb, put in a bowl and squeeze the leftover lemon juice over along with the oil. Add the almonds, seasoning and chopped fronds. Put on a platter with the fish and spoon the crumbs over.
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If you don’t have focaccia, use day-old bread. Add rosemary and garlic then bake. Make sure the bread and almonds don’t burn in the oven.