Grilled mackerel, bacon, barley, chicory and chervil salad

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July 14, 2016 by dgarnett2013

Grilled mackerel, bacon, barley, chicory and chervil salad: Food for All Seasons by Oliver Rowe


Serves 2

  • 2 mackerel, filleted and pin-boned
  • 100g barley
  • 6 slices streaky bacon
  • 1 head chicory
  • ½ bunch of chervil
  • 2 spring onions
  • olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper


Rinse the barley and bring to the boil in a saucepan with plenty of salted water, reduce to a simmer and com until tender but not soft – a little resistance to the tooth but no bite.

Cut the bacon into matchsticks and fry them off in a medium-hot frying pan with just a tiny touch of oil until crispy. Lift them onto kitchen paper on a plate to drain and cool.

In a small bowl sieve and season the juice of half the lemon with Maldon salt. Mix with enough oil that it no longer catches the back of the throat – 3 to 4 times as much oil as juice.

Pick any damaged leaves off the chicory and cut into 1 cm slices crosswise.

Slice the spring onions finely and pick the chervil off the stems.

When the barley is done, drain in a sieve, rinse thoroughly with cold water, drain again and then toss in a bowl with a few drops of oil.

Get a grill or pan really hot pan for the mackerel (or else it will stick).

Assemble the salad with the chicory, barley, bacon, chervil and dressing. Divide between plates ready to serve, reserving some of the chervil.

Season the mackerel fillets with slat and pepper on a plate and rub a little oil on the skin side.

Place on the smoking hot pan/ grill skin-side down and cook until the flesh is cooked about half way through, then turn them carefully. The skin should be nicely crispy and a little charred in places.

After about 10 – 20 seconds on the flesh side, put them on the plate with a few wafts of chervil, a couple of drips of lemon dressing and a generous grind of black pepper. DO NOT OVERCOOK the mackerel. The flesh should still be dusky pink on the middle when you take them off the grill – they’ll finish cooking on the way to the table.

Made the week the Canepas were in town (plus pals Lori and Anna).

canepas1 canepas3

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