Mackerel, salsify and quickled onions. The muddy spears

☆Fish Friday☆

Mackerel, salsify and quickled onions. The muddy spears you may have seen in my story are salsify. A popular vegetable in Victorian times, also known as oyster plant, not often seen these days. I wouldn’t necessarily liken it to oyster, but there is very much a savoury quality akin to artichokes, celeriac and parsnips, only less sweet. You’ll need a sinkful of cold water and bowl of acidulated water to prepare these earthy batons, a mucky job, a speed peeler will make relatively short work of them. Drop them into lemony water to prevent any oxidisation. The purée is made by simply simmering in salted water until soft and tender, blitzed until smooth enriched with butter and creme fraiche, flavoured with creamed horseradish. Smooth and rich with a pleasant tang.
Mackerel is one of those fish that needs to be eaten spanking fresh, this one certainly was, shining streaks of blue, so beautiful it almost seemed a shame to cook it. However there’s no place for sashimi here, a preliminary salting, followed by a few minutes in a hot frying pan, by all means grill or roast it, but do make sure you achieve a crisp, charred skin. The fish and purée are both rather rich in both flavour and texture, the sharpness of quickled onions cuts through, interestingly I often think vinegar is better choice than lemon, particularly where horseradish is concerned. The whole dish has an underlying earthiness, I enhance this further by adding parsley oil. I’m lucky the local street market still operates, the fishmonger and vegetable seller, coming together to inspire my dinner.

22 thoughts on “Mackerel, salsify and quickled onions. The muddy spears

  1. I do love mackerel and it so good for you!! This looks wonderful, as do all your fish dishes Laurie (and all your other dishes too!!!!!)

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