It’s summer, it’s hot and humid and you need something light, healthy and fresh. Spending time over a hot stove or grill is not pleasant. Wouldn’t you rather save the energy and the sweat for other things like lying on the beach or trekking in the mountains?
Mackerel is a type of oily fish, with white flesh and rich in Omega 3s, which comprises around 30 different species. Traditionally it has been eaten on the same day it is fished since it spoils quickly. Since it feeds on smaller fish and shrimps, and it itself the fodder of other larger fish such as tuna, it is a healthier alternative if you are trying to minimise the ingestion to toxic substances such as mercury which can lead to developmental problems in children and nervous system ailments in adults.
There is nothing complicated about cooking fish except perhaps getting it ready. That, however, is something you can normally get taken care of by asking your trusted fishmonger at the time of purchase. They can trim, gut, and scale the fish ready for you.
An alternative to mackerel are sardines, but they are not to everyone’s liking, and when grilled indoors they can make your house smell like a fishmonger’s. I save that for outdoor BBQs on less sweltering days.
So, get your Omega3s in, not just your vitamin D , and throw in a few vegetables. In just a few simple steps you can serve up a feast for your eyes as well as your taste buds.
Ingredients (2 to 3 portions)
3 medium sized mackerels
1 large carrot
1 sweet potato (or kohlrabi)*
1 large lemon
A handful of cherry tomatoes
2 to 3 bay leaves
3 to 4 cloves of garlic
A bunch of coriander (or parsley)
Salt and pepper
*alternatively use courgettes, aubergines and peppers for a more Mediterranean touch
1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Meanwhile wash the carrot, fennel, tomatoes, sweet potato, lemons and coriander (or parsley) in a bicarbonate of soda and water bowl for approximately 10 minutes. Pat dry.
2. Peel, trim and slice the carrot, fennel and sweet potato and chop the cherry tomatoes in half. Place on the bottom of a deep baking dish with the bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.
3. Wash the mackerel and pat dry carefully. Then peel and slice 2 of the garlic cloves and slice half of the lemon. Distribute the garlic and lemon slices inside each mackerel keeping them as flat as possible. Season with salt.
4. Add any remaining garlic cloves (whole, unpeeled) and the quartered part of the remaining lemon to the tray. Lay the mackerel on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped coriander (or parsley) and olive oil then place inside the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Serve warm with a side of mixed green leaves.