We’re really enjoying mackerel at the moment. I’ve been buying it head on, but cleaned, from our local fishmonger, Soper’s. I like to bake the mackerel whole, and then jazz it up with lots of tasty side dishes. This is a really lovely winter supper.

For the fish

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

  • 1/2 fennel (or one red onion, sliced)
  • 2 mackerel
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 7-8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 lemon, quartered lengthways
  • some sprigs of thyme
  • a handful of fresh of basil leaves
  • olive oil

Scatter the fennel in the bottom of the baking dish. Lay the fish on top, and arrange the tomatoes, lemon and garlic around it. Put a sprig of thyme inside each fish, and scatter a few sprigs of thyme and basil over the fish. Finally, add a small drizzle of olive oil.

Bake for around 30 minutes.

For the salsa

  • 10 or so cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • half a jar (20 or so) of black olives
  • a sprinkling of coriander
  • a few leaves of basil
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together. Serve at room temperature.

For the beans

This recipe has evolved from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Good old French Bean Salad’ in Jamie’s Dinners and you can see his original here. I have to say these are the tastiest beans I have ever eaten. Perhaps it’s the mustard but I find them quite addictive. Unlike Jamie, I like my beans to have a bit of a bite, so I cook them just for a few seconds.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 200g fine green beans
  • a quarter of a red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp capers, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Prepare all the ingredients so that they are ready before you cook the beans – this is a super-speedy dish.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard.

Boil the beans for about thirty seconds. Drain.

Whilst the beans are still hot, add all the other ingredients and combine them together.

For the vinaigrette

This recipe comes from Delia Smith’s How to Cook Book Two and The Delia Collection: Fish. You can find Delia’s recipe here. This is my lazy version – and I’m reminded, looking at Delia’s original that she also includes the zest and juice of one lime. I shall try to remember that next time.

  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard (or Dijon will do)
  • about a tbsp chopped, fresh, coriander
  • 1 tbsp choped capers
  • 1 garlic clove crushed or finely chopped

Combine the ingredients and pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Pour over the fish.