Grilled mackerel with watercress and orange salad

Mark Sargeant expertly balances the flavours of this inexpensive supper dish with hazelnuts and honey mustard dressing
By Mark Sargeant
Grilled mackerel with watercress and orange salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 110 g hazelnuts
  • 4 medium oranges
  • olive oil
  • 4 butterflied mackerel, pin-bones removed
  • seasoned flour
  • 110 g pitted black olives, (optional)
  • 2 large bunches watercress

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard


1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast them for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to a bowl to cool.

2. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest from the oranges and place in a mixing bowl. Peel the fruit using a serrated knife. Holding each orange over the bowl to catch the juice, cut into segments. Squeeze the remaining pithy membrane to extract all the juice before discarding it. Roughly chop the segmented flesh, add it to the bowl and set aside.

3. In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil over a low-medium heat. Season the mackerel well on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dip the skin side in a little seasoned flour then place the fish skin-side down in the pan and fry gently, gradually increasing the temperature under the pan until the fish is almost cooked. Flip over and cook for a few seconds on the other side.

4. For the dressing: add the honey, oils, vinegar and mustard to the bowl of oranges. Add some salt and pepper and mix gently.

5. Add the olives (if using) and roasted hazelnuts to the bowl of dressing, then toss with the watercress.

6. Arrange the salad on serving plates and spoo over the last of the dressing. Top with the fried mackerel and serve immediately.

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