Thomasina Miers’ recipe for chargrilled mackerel with a warm new potato, lemon and caper salad | The new flexitarian

Few things can better grilled mackerel, with its smoky-charry notes, particularly if it has just been caught; for me, they conjure up seaside holidays and fishing trips. Here, I also char the chilli and lemon for a bright and zippy dressing that works beautifully with both the fish and a waxy potato salad.

Chargrilled mackerel with warm new potato, lemon and caper salad

Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 4-6

600-900g new potatoes, scrubbed
5-6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 lemon
, quartered
1 red chilli
1 fat garlic clove
, peeled
2 tbsp capers
1 bunch basil
, stalks discarded
2 large mackerel
1 scant tsp smoked paprika

Halve the potatoes (or cut them into equal-sized pieces), put in a pan of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until a skewer or sharp knife easily pierces the flesh. Drain, season with a splash of olive oil and a little salt and pepper, then crush lightly, cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat a griddle (or barbecue) to a very high heat; it should be smoking hot. Griddle the lemon quarters until lightly blackened and caramelised. At the same time, griddle the chilli, turning it so it chars all over.

While those are cooking, finely chop the garlic, then put the capers on the chopping board and chop them both together. Once the chilli is blackened all over, cut away and discard the stalk, add the flesh to the board and finely chop with the capers and garlic. Roll up the basil leaves and finely shred. Put the caper mix and basil in a small bowl with three or four tablespoons of olive oil, the smoked paprika and a few grinds of pepper, squeeze in the lemon juice and stir.

Season the mackerel with salt and pepper, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over them and rub all over. Cook the fish on the griddle (or barbecue) for three to five minutes on each side, until a skewer slides easily into the thickest part of the fish.

Serve the fish with the potatoes alongside and the caper dressing drizzled over everything.

The simple flex

Ditch the fish and cut thick, long strips of courgettes. Brush these with oil, griddle, then toss with the potatoes in the caper dressing and serve.


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