The root vegetable mountain that grows in my kitchen at this time of year can become a little tedious after a while. Don't get me wrong, I love root veg, but if I see another beetroot or swede this month I might just scream. Devising ways to make it feel like we're not eating the same root vegetable stews, soups, gratins and mash for the seemingly endless winter months has become a bit of a challenge.
Caramelised swede, onion & thyme tartlets, beetroot carpaccio with goat's curd & honey roasted walnuts, mini cheese & celeriac scones, beetroot, red quinoa & feta fritters and spiced roasted carrot houmous have all made an appearance but I'll be needing a bit more inspiration to see me through to spring!
This recipe made me feel like I'd been transported out the depths of winter - a little seasonal salad to accompany the smoked mackerel that was lurking in the fridge.
My wonderful fishmongers (Moxons) sell the most amazing whole smoked mackerel which I used for this recipe. It has a gentle smokiness, silky smooth texture and would easily feed 2 (gluttonous) people all for around £3. If you can't get hold of this sort of smoked mackerel it will work just as well with smoked mackerel fillets.
1 whole smoked mackerel
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp crème fraiche
2 tsp Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
1 tbsp small capers (rinsed)
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 medium raw celeriac
1 small raw beetroot
Put the lemon juice into a bowl. Either grate or finely chop the celeriac into thin matchstick sized pieces and coat immediately in the lemon juice to prevent it from discolouring. You don't want the celeriac grated too finely - it still needs to have some crunch. I use my trusty old handheld moulinex which I brought back from France a few years ago. Set the celeriac to one side.
In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise, crème fraiche and mustard together. Strain any excess lemon juice from the celeriac and discard. Stir the celeriac into the mayonnaise mixture. Add the capers and set to one side for up to 20 minutes.
Prepare the smoked mackerel - remove the head and tail and then slice through the body to make 2 or 3 large steaks.
Stir the chopped parsley into the celeriac remoulade, reserving a little to garnish.
Peel the beetroot and then grate or chop in the same way as the celeriac. Add to the celeriac remoulade. Do not stir it in or you will end up with pink remoulade! Just fold it through once or twice very gently.
Serve immediately with the smoked mackerel and some brown bread.