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Mackerel and green bean salad with harissa dressing

 Commercial harissa varieties can vary. If yours isn’t very spicy, add a bit of cayenne pepper to it to enhance the kick. Serves four to six.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium baguette, crusts removed, torn into 2cm chunks (110g net)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric, mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
  • 230ml olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 6 mackerel fillets, cut widthways into 2cm slices (350g net)
  • 1 gem lettuce, leaves torn into large pieces
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced (90g net)
  • 3 Romano peppers, roasted, cooled, deseeded and cut into 2cm slices, or use commercial roasted peppers from a tin or a jar
  • 50g dried black olives, pitted and torn in half
  • 200g French beans, trimmed, blanched for 4 minutes, refreshed and drained well
  • 50g harissa paste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 4 semi-hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Place the baguette pieces in a medium mixing bowl and toss with your hand as you slowly pour in the turmeric water, trying to get all the bread pieces lightly stained with turmeric. Set aside.
  2. Put 200 millilitres of the olive oil in a large sauté pan and put it on a medium heat. Fry the mackerel pieces in 2 batches, for 1-2 minutes, until they are slightly curled and cooked through. Lift out of the oil with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper, lightly season with salt and black pepper and set aside. Next add the baguette pieces to the hot oil, frying them as you stir for 3-4 minutes, until crunchy and golden-brown. Remove from the oil with the slotted spoon and place next to the fish to cool down. Don’t discard the remaining oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl put together the lettuce, red onion, peppers, olives and beans. Add the fish, croutons, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a healthy grind of black pepper. Toss gently and then transfer into a large and shallow serving bowl.
  4. Whisk the harissa in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil and the lemon juice. Spoon this over the salad, sprinkle over the parsley and finally dot with the egg. Finish the salad with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and another drizzle of olive oil.