Pickled Mackerel and Lentil Salad


Pickled Mackerel


  • 2 lbs (1 kg) whole mackerel, heads removed, fillet and deboned.
  • 3 whole cloves garlic, peeled or if in season use 4 ramp bulbs
  • 2 medium shallots, halved lengthwise
  • 32 g ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Additional olive oil, as needed
  • Lentil Salad (recipe follows)


Add garlic, shallots, ginger, parsley, tarragon, and the rest of the spices in a pot. Add salt, sugar and pepper then pour in water and vinegar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for eight minutes.

Uncover and let cool, then transfer to nonmetallic container and add the two fillets of mackerel. Refrigerate for one day then remove from the pickling liquid and preserve in good quality olive oil. Serve at room temperature.

To serve, divide Lentil Salad between four chilled plates and top with the Pickled Mackerel.

Makes 4 servings.

Lentil Salad


  • 1 ¼ cups green lentils
  • 20 small cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup chopped shallots
  • ½ cup trimmed and chopped radishes
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup of chopped mint
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, brunoise
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup good olive oil


Cook lentils in pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Place in large bowl, let cool.

Mix in tomatoes, shallots, radishes, parsley, mint, pepper, cumin. Add the lemon juice and good olive oil.