Smoked mackerel and apple salad

This is a version of a salad my Mum used to make when I was a teenager, only hers had chickpeas and something (although I can’t remember what exactly) that required an orange. We both used to love it and I have since asked her for the recipe, but much to our dismay she can’t find it or remember where she might have got it from 😦

Although I’m happy to eat chickpeas and beans etc., I’m not their biggest fan, so I use the fact that I can’t remember the original recipe as an excuse to leave them out. I know my Mum used to simply throw a can of them in though and I’m pretty sure the orange must have been in the dressing as I don’t remember chunks of fruit; if you fancy experimenting then please let me know, I’d love to hear!

It is the epitome of easy; it can be as easy as this (without the dressing):


… or as complicated as this (with the dressing):


Either way, it can be prepared in less than 10 minutes, and is a filling super-nutritious main course salad.

If you do decide to make the dressing then all you need is this:


If you fancy using a more traditional recipe format then here you go:

To serve 2.

The salad ingredients:

Smoked mackerel – 1 pack/4 fillets
Crunchy eating apples – 2
Watercress or salad leaves of your choice – 1 bag

The dressing ingredients:

Dijon/Finnish mustard – 2 tsp
Cider vinegar – 1 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil – 3 tbsp
Salt and black pepper

The recipe:

  • Chop the apples into bite-size pieces and add to a bowl.
  • Remove he mackerel skin (don’t panic, because the fish has been smoked and therefore cooked  the skin just peels off like banana skin does – simples).
  • Tear the smoked mackerel into bite-size pieces, and add to the bowl of apple.
  • Add your salad leaves, and toss everything together.

The salad is tasty enough on its own, so is good if you’re watching what you eat; however, if you want to make the dressing too, it really brings the salad alive:

  • Mix all of the ingredients except the oil together, and then use a small whisk to combine the oil to create the dressing.
  • Serve drizzled over the salad.

My notes on this recipe:

  • I usually use Royal Gala or Braeburn apples because they are really crisp, yet juicy.
  • The pepperiness of the watercress goes really well with the mackerel, and it is soft too so mops up the dressing really well. Any soft leaves will do though.
  • Try horseradish sauce instead of mustard, although in fear of sounding like Jamie Oliver: it’s a cracking little combo!


Bottle tops from my cider vinegar (left) and olive oil (right) … just because I noticed them, and thought that it is the little details that can make a difference; a principle it is always good to remember when cooking!


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