spicy mackerel with orange and olive salad

this is the second recipe that i am entering into the fragata competition to win an afternoon cooking with spanish chef josé pizarro, having already shared with you my recipe for lamb and fig flatbreads.

this is much quicker to pull together and easy enough if you’re comfortable filleting fish (or get your fishmonger to do it for you). i marinated my mackerel fillets with a little harissa paste while i made the orange and olive salsa. this was very simple - black olives, orange segments, fresh mint and a drizzle of rape seed oil. i also added some finely chopped fragata hot peppers for a bit of a chilli kick. i then cooked the fish for a couple of minutes, skin side down, flipped it over for 30 seconds and then served it with the salsa, alongside a green salad and some crusty bread.

wonderfully simple and i hope it, with my lamb and fig flatbreads, are a winning entry to the fragata competition, click here if you want to enter too – the prize is an afternoon cooking with josé pizarro.

spicy mackerel with orange and olive salad (serves 2 as a light meal)

4 mackerel fillets, skin on

1 teaspoon harissa paste

1 orange, peeled to remove the skin and all pith

16-20 black olives, chopped

1 tablespoon mint leaves, finely shredded

1 fragata piri piri hot pepper or a piece of fresh red chilli, finely sliced

rape seed oil

smear the harissa paste over the mackerel fillets and set aside.

to make the salsa, over a bowl, cut the flesh segments out of the orange, leaving behind the pith (this is easiest to do if the orange is still whole and you just “cut out” the segments leaving behind the white pith that separates them), squeezing out any juice that remains. add the olives, mint and chilli. drizzle with a little olive oil, stir and set aside while you cook the fish.

heat a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan and add the fish, skin side down. cook for 2-3 minutes – the flesh will start to turn opaque, turn the fish over when it is opaque at the half-way point. cook for 30 seconds and then serve, skin side down, topped with the salsa. we ate this with crusty bread and a green salad.