Spicy mackerel with feta-mint tzatziki in lettuce cups
The secret to beautiful skin is Omega-3 fatty acids, and mackerel actually contains a higher level of this nutrient than salmon. With its soft, oily flesh cocooned in crunchy raw lettuce cups and enlivened by a spicy sauce, this will get a thumbs up from your Mum.
Tip: it’s great with beer but wondrous with ouzo, an anise-flavoured aperitif.
Serves 4 Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil (reserve 1 tbsp to brush on fish)
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
250g fresh saba fillet, cubed
5 Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 tsp oregano, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tbsp Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch kosher salt
pinch freshly ground pepper
1 head butter lettuce
1 head radicchio
½ cup plain yogurt
45g cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into strips
1 tbsp scallions
3 tbsp fresh pomegranate
• Preheat the grill till red hot. Combine ingredients for chilli blend and mix well.
• In a whisking bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice and chilli blend. Add the saba fillets and coat with the marinade. Marinate for 15 minutes.
• In another whisking bowl, mix the ingredients for tomato salad and season to taste. Set aside.
• Form the lettuce cups by gently separating the head of butter lettuce and radicchio and use a cutter to cut lettuce to circles of 3.5cm diameter. Soak the lettuce in very cold water for a few minutes before drying them with a paper towel. Make a cup by lining a whole leaf of butter lettuce with radicchio (you can double line the cups by alternating layers if you want your cups to be more colourful).
• To prevent the fish from sticking to the grill, brush the fillets with a little olive oil before placing them on the hot grill. Place the fillets on the preheated grill and cook until they turn opaque or cooked on top, within 4-5 minutes. Turn the fish carefully using a long-handled spatula, and grill on the reverse side for another 4-5 minutes. If you prefer cooking on a stove, pour 1 tbsp of olive oil into a hot pan and sear the fillets for 1 minute on each side. Turn off the fire and let rest in the pan.
• Place small chunks of flaked fish into each lettuce cup.
• Top with tomato salad. Drizzle with yogurt, if desired, and garnish with cucumber, scallions and pomegranate. If you don’t mind the mess, pick it up and eat it like a taco. Serve immediately.