Warm Smoked Mackerel Salad With Beetroot And Gooseberry Vinaigrette

I was meant to post this a few weeks ago and only for a helpful reminder in the comments section I would never have gotten round to writing it down. Unfortunately though, now gooseberry season is pretty much over it might be hard for anyone to use the recipe until next summer! However, I do have a way of lengthening the the season a little bit by making a big batch of gooseberry puree and freezing it so it means I was able to have the salad again last Saturday.  All you have to do is boil the fruit down in some water and whizz in a blender until smooth; I don’t add any sugar or salt yet because it might create problems incorporating it into whatever recipe I’ll eventually use it in. I make the vinaigrette in the food processor (I’m sure you could just use a jam jar) and one thing I’ve noticed is the puree can make for a thick emulsion so you’ll probably have to thin it out with some water to get a more pourable consistency.

That said, the best thing for me about this is the contrast between the sweet beetroot and the salty smoked mackerel so if you’ve no gooseberries don’t worry just improvise; I’ve made a lovely dressing before using horseradish cream which is just as good.

Warm Smoked Mackerel Salad With Beetroot & Gooseberry Vinaigrette

Serves: 2

100g mixed baby salad leaves
2 medium size beetroot
2 smoked mackerel fillets

For the dressing:
45ml gooseberry puree
40ml olive oil
50ml grapeseed oil
30ml sherry vinegar
5g salt
Sugar, pinch of

For the gooseberry puree (makes 150ml):
200g gooseberries
150ml water


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Coat the beetroot in oil, sprinkle on some salt and wrap each one in tinfoil.
  2. Put in the oven and bake for around 90 minutes. When cooked, remove the outer skin (it should peel off easily) and chop into bite size pieces.
  3. For the gooseberry puree, remove the stems from the gooseberries and place in a saucepan with the water.
  4. Bring the water to the boil and then simmer for around ten minutes until the fruit has collapsed.
  5. Transfer to a blender and process to a smooth paste.
  6. Strain through a fine sieve and reserve.
  7. For the dressing, dissolve the salt and sugar in the vinegar.
  8. Add the puree and vinegar to a food processor and put on medium speed.
  9. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and grapeseed oil until emulsified.
  10. If the vinaigrette is too thick it thin with a few drops of water. Adjust the seasoning if required.
  11. Place the mackerel fillets under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes to heat them up and slightly crisp the skin.
  12. Chop the fish into bite size pieces and add to a bowl with the salad leaves.
  13. Pour the vinaigrette over the leaves and mix thoroughly.
  14. Divide the salad amongst the plates and top with the roast beetroot.

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