Hederman’s Smoked Mackerel Winter Salad with Sprouted Mung Beans and Golden Preserved Lemon Dressing
/ Lunch or first course
Winter usually means comfort food but I often crave the brightness of a good, crunchy, fresh salad especially if I can get a hold of good quality organic root vegetables. I’m really lucky I have friends who always have some to offer at this time of year and the flavour makes the difference in something simple like this. The mackerel also just seems to add the right soft, rich, umami contrast to the sweet crispness of the rest of the salad. The base of this salad is some sprouted mung beans which might seem a bit alien but these are just the same bean sprouts that are often stir fried or added to spring rolls in Chinese cooking. You certainly do not need to go to the hassle of sprouting these yourself (though it is very fun and easy) a base of cooked and cooled chickpeas, rice, barley or puy lentils would be excellent too.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: Not including sprouting time of 2 days - 20 mins
100g dried mung beans (see note on preparation)
200g Hedermans Smoked Mackerel
Handful of fresh green herbs – parsley, coriander or wild greens – I’ve used wild hairy bittercress
For the dressing
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon chopped Preserved Lemon skin (optional, but delicious)
1 tablespoons good quality apple cider vinegar – I like Natural Umber
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon of turmeric
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey or caster sugar
Salt and pepper
Wild flowers for garnish
For the sprouted beans
Wash the beans and then cover with boiling water and allow to soak overnight.
The next day rinse the beans thoroughly. Place a muslin or clean cloth on a tray and scatter over the beans and cover with the corners of the cloth. Leave in a warmish place out of the light for 24–36 hours.
The sprouts are ready when the shoots are around 1cm long and they taste crunchy and no longer starchy.
for the veg
Wash and peel the carrot and beetroot. Using your peeler make long strips of each. You could just use a grater here too – it would still be delicious but the long strips make a difference visually and texturally.
For the dressing
Add all of the ingredients to a blender or blend with a stick blender. You want this to be really smooth so take your time blending everything for a minute or two. Taste and check for sharpness and sweetness – both are important to balance with the fish.
Once the dressing is super smooth mix half with the sprouted beans. Arrange the beans at the bottom of a dish or plate.
Remove the skin from the mackerel and tear it up with your hands and lay over the beans.
Arrange the strips of carrot and beetroot and scatter over the herbs – be generous with both.
Spoon over the remainder of the dressing and if you have them finish with some winter flowers to garnish – violas, mahonia and berberis all produce flowers through the winter months.