comfort food

london has been a very wet and slightly chilly place this august bank holiday weekend. food that can be pulled together quickly and easily to provide maximum “mmmmm” feelings was needed and this spinach, lemon and peppered mackerel pilaf certainly hit the spot. nice and cheap too!


spinach, lemon and peppered mackerel pilaf (serves 2-3)

225g peppered mackerel

5g butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

250g basmati rice

500ml vegetable stock (i make this with bouillon powder)

seeds from 2 cardamom pods

pinch of saffron threads

zest and juice of 1 lemon

150g baby leaf spinach

1 handful chopped parsley

remove the skin from the mackerel and break the fillets of fish into bite-size pieces.

heat the butter and oil over a medium heat, until the butter melts. add the rice and stir so it looks glossy. add the stock, cardamom seeds, saffron, lemon juice and zest. bring to the boil then put a lid on the pan, turn the heat to low and leave to cook until all the liquid is absorbed (10-15 minutes).

when the rice is cooked, put the spinach on top of the rice and put the lid back on the pan so that the spinach wilts from the heat of the rice. you can then stir the spinach into the rice, adding the mackerel and parsley.