A taste of the med: Mackerel tabbouleh
This tabbouleh has hints of the Eastern Med and also goes well with lamb.
75g wholewheat bulgur
1 cucumber, ends trimmed
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus
1 tsp extra for frying
4 mackerel fillets (about 100g each)
2 tbsp nonpareil capers, rinsed
8 cocktail gherkins, thinly sliced
2 tbsp currants
1 large spring onion, finely sliced then chopped
100g bunch flat-leaf parsley, tough stalks removed and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil, add the bulgur and cook according to the packet instructions until just tender. Drain using a sieve, then spread over a plate and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile halve the cucumber lengthways and cut into slices 3mm-4mm thick. Toss in a large bowl with a little more salt than you might to season it, and set aside for 30 minutes. Fill the bowl with cold water, give the cucumber a sloosh, then drain using a colander and pat dry between double layers of kitchen paper. Place in a large bowl.
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. Season the mackerel fillets on both sides and fry, skin-side down, for about 3 minutes until golden and crisp and the flesh is almost cooked through. Turn and cook the flesh side for 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool for 20-30 minutes.
- Mix the capers, gherkins, currants, spring onion and parsley into the cucumber, then stir in the bulgur.
- To serve, gently break each mackerel fillet into four. Season the tabbouleh, dress with the remaining oil and the lemon juice, then transfer to a large serving dish and mix in the mackerel.
GET AHEAD Prepare up to the fourth stage a couple of hours in advance. Cover everything and set aside until ready to serve.