Satisfy those mid-morning hunger pangs with this smoked mackerel, pickled marrow and quail egg salad (with beetroot bread)
This salad is a brilliant marriage between rich protein from the eggs, salty smoked mackerel and the sweet and pickle flavour of the marrow. It’s a light dish that’s perfect for brunch or even a light dinner. If you feel adventurous, make some lovely beetroot bread to go with the salad. It’s worth investing in a really good quality smoked mackerel as it makes all the difference. I recommend Black Mountain Smokery in Abergavenny.
For the salad
- 2 fillets of smoked mackerel, skinned and flaked
- 200g mixed baby leaf, peppery ones are better
- 300g new potatoes, pink fur apple are great
- 6 quail eggs
- A few radishes thinly sliced
For the dressing
- 1 banana shallot finally diced
- 200ml cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 300ml rapeseed oil
For pickled marrow
- 250g marrow, 1.5 inch diced
- 500ml white wine vinegar
- 300g caster sugar
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 star anise
- 3 cloves
- ½ cinnamon stick
- To start, boil the potatoes in salted water until soft and allow to cool.
- Bring another pan of water to a rapid boil, have a bowl of iced water at the ready. Place the quail eggs into the boiling water for exactly 2 minutes 20 seconds; quickly plunge into the iced water. Once cooled peel carefully and slice in half.
- For the dressing, place the diced shallots into a pan with the cider vinegar; reduce on a medium heat until reduced, cool. Place vinegary shallots into a bowl, whisk with mustard sugar and seasoning. Whilst still whisking slowly add the oil, a just seasoning and sweetness.
- For the marrow, place all ingredients except the marrow into a pan and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours. Place in the marrow for 2 minutes take off the heat and allow to cool in the pickle mixture. Remove from liquid.
- To assemble, quarter the potatoes, place into a large mixing bowl along with the marrow, flaked mackerel, radish & leaves, dress with vinaigrette. Place into serving bowls and pop the quail egg halves on top, finish with a grind of black pepper. Serve with warm beetroot bread.
Wholewheat Beetroot Bread
(Makes one big round loaf)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1.5 cups beetroot puree (puree 3-4 cooked beets with 1/2 cup milk)
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups strong white bread flour
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- In a small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water. Let rest for 5 minutes
- Combine flour and salt into a dough mixer. Add in yeast mixture, beetroot puree and oil. Mix until just combined. OR mix in a bowl by hand!
- Knead, by hand or in a stand mixer fixed with the dough hook, about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove risen dough from bowl and shape into a round ball. Place dough on a baking stone or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to gas mark 4 before baking the bread, sprinkle the top with a little flour and make an X shape on the top with a serrated knife.
- Place the bread in the oven and pour 1 cup hot water into a pan and place under the loaf, closing the oven door immediately. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.
- Allow bread to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing or serving.
Dorian Kirk is head chef of A Rule of Tum, a supper club based in Herefordshire. A Rule of Tum is about creating honest, seasonal dishes crafted from the ingredients they find right on their doorstep.