A twist-your-face-inside-out salty delicacy today from the Halo Baking Emporium and Chocolaterie in Moseley Birmingham UK. This warm salad is a strong flavoured fishy delight, with a dressing that is tangy, salty, and really hits the spot.
The combination of mackerel in the salad and anchovies in the dressing mean this dish is not for the faint hearted, however the oily fish is not just super tasty, it’s super good for you too. I love this salad and could happily eat it every day, although I think my sodium levels would go through the roof if I did!
This is a slightly complex recipe in that there are a number of items that need to come together at the same time. You’ll have three pans on the go boiling rice and lentils, the grill for the aubergine, and be making the dressing whilst this goes on. Not to worry if all the elements don’t come together at the exact same time, as this is a warm salad, not a hot dish, so just cover whatever has peaked too soon and mix it up when you’re ready.
Gluten Free Warm Mackerel, Wild Rice, Aubergine, and Lentil Salad Recipe
- 1 cup brown lentils, washed
- 3 cups gluten free vegetable stock, made with half the stock you would usually use to this volume of water. (There’s enough salt in the fish!)
- ½ cup wild rice
- ¾ cup white rice
- 2-3 fillets of smoked mackerel
- 1 aubergine
- Juice of one lemon
- Small jar/tin of anchovies, in olive oil for preference – we’ll use the oil!
- 2-3 tablespoons of capers
- Mixed peppercorns, ground
- Place the well washed lentils in a pan with the half-potency stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 40 minutes – test after this time.
- As the lentils soften and cook, remove the skin from the mackerel and flake it into a large bowl with a couple of forks.
- Slice the aubergine into slices about ½ a cm thick, and salt them to draw out the bitter juice.
- Once the juice is leaking out of the aubergines, wash them well and squeeze them gently to remove excess water. Brush them with olive oil on each side and place under a hot grill for 5 minutes each side, until crispy at the edges but still with some softness. Allow them to cool slightly so that you can handle them, and cut into strips. (I use scissors – stops the flesh tearing.)
- The wild rice usually takes about 15 minutes to cook. Wild rice isn’t actually rice at all, it’s a seed, so if you haven’t used it before don’t expect a rice-like consistency after cooking. It will still have some bite! Put this on 15 minutes before the lentils will be ready. Add the wild rice to a pan of boiling water with a little salt in.
- The white rice, depending on type, will take 9 – 15 minutes to cook. Check the packet! Again, add to a pan of lightly salted boiling water to coincide with the lentils.
- Whilst all of this is bubbling and simmering away, make the dressing. Reserving the oil, remove the anchovy fillets and place on a chopping board with the capers. Chop into tiny pieces, almost a mush – I have a wonderful two handled chopping thing bought in Italy which works wonders for this, however a sharp knife will do the job too, it will just take a bit longer.
- Add the chopped up anchovies and capers to the reserved olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with the peppercorns, and adjust to tastes. You may need a bit more oil if your jar was a little stingy, or a dash more lemon to cut through the fish.
- And now the great assemblage! When the lentils are soft but retaining a little bite still (they should have absorbed all the stock), add them to the big bowl with the flaked mackerel. Drain both types of rice and add to the bowl. Add the chopped partly-crispy aubergine, and mix it all up.
- Drizzle the dressing over and stir it all together and in. Taste and ensure that the levels are right.
- Serve warm, surrounded by leaves. I’m still loving pea shoot season so I’ll be serving mainly with pea shoots for the few glorious months that they are available!
A slightly more complex than usual dish, but one that is well worth the effort! An absolutely superb gluten free warm salad for any season.
Off to find some breath mints, Halo from the Halo Baking Emporium and Chocolaterie in Moseley Birmingham UK.