Barbecued mackerel with beetroot and apple salad

Barbecued mackerel with beetroot and apple salad

British Seafood
David Loftus

Early beetroot appear as the first mackerel of the year are caught, so it makes sense to serve them together. The charred skin and moist, rich mackerel flesh marry perfectly with beetroot – and apple brings a crisp, sharp taste to cut the richness. When barbecuing fish, make sure your coals are at the white hot stage and oil your fish before placing it on the hot grid, but not too much or your fish will be engulfed in flames and burn.


Quantity Ingredient
4 large mackerel, gutted
or 8 small mackerel, gutted
light rapeseed oil, for cooking
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Beetroot and apple salad

Quantity Ingredient
4 raw beetroot, washed and peeled
4 granny smith apples
50ml white wine vinegar
2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
3 pickled walnuts, chopped, (optional)
2 teaspoons chives, chopped
4 tablespoons Mayonnaise

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 large baguette, sliced


  1. To make the beetroot and apple salad, slice the beetroot across into fine slices, then cut across the slices to give you julienne. Peel and core the apples and similarly cut into julienne. Toss the apples and beetroot in a bowl with the wine vinegar, shallots, pickled walnuts if using, and chives. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as required.
  2. Light your barbecue well in advance and make sure the grid is very hot. Wash the mackerel and pat dry with kitchen paper. Oil the fish and season all over with salt and pepper. Place the fish on the barbecue grid and cook, without moving, for 5 minutes. Now turn the fish over. (If it has stuck then leave it for another minute before turning.) Barbecue for 4 minutes on the other side until the flesh inside the cavity is opaque all the way through.
  3. Carefully lift the fish from the barbecue onto plates. Serve straight away, with the beetroot and apple salad and lemon wedges. Accompany with plenty of bread for mopping up the juices.
British Seafood
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