Grilled mackerel & spring cabbage

VIDEO: Grilled mackerel and spring cabbage, with Grandma’s dressing and salsa verde

Mackerel is both tasty and packed with healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. The fat juicy flesh makes the mackerel perfect for grilling.

With its herbs and sour flavours, salsa verde is a perfect sauce to go with the fatty mackerel. Spring cabbage is also excellent for grilling. When grilled, the crunchy cabbage sweetens.

Grandma’s dressing is a Nordic classic. This citrusy creamy dressing is great for crunchy salads and cabbage. I don’t know whose Grandma invented it, but it certainly expresses the joyful nostalgia of all those dishes our grandmothers served us in our childhood. A great side dish for grilled mackerel - the taste of summertime by the sea.

  • Author : Gutti Winther
  • Category : Dinner
  • Cuisine : Nordic
  • Yield : 2 servings
  • 4 fillets of fresh mackerel with skin
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small spring cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • Salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 dl of cream
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of capers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of pickled gherkins, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 2 handfuls of parsley, mint, tarragon and dill – or any fresh herbs you have
  • Start by warming up the grill. The grill must be scorching hot for grilling the mackerel and spring cabbage.
  • Score the mackerel fillets in several places along the skin. This will help the fillet cook evenly and prevents the skin sticking to the hot grill. Salt the fillets on the flesh side and rub some olive oil on to the skin side of the mackerel. The oil prevents the mackerel sticking to the grill.
  • Peel off any dirty or wilted outer layers of the spring cabbage. Halve the cabbage lengthwise and remove the core. If you have a big spring cabbage you can cut it into quarters. Drizzle with olive oil and salt.
  • While the grill is heating make Grandma’s dressing and the salsa verde.
  • You make Grandma’s dressing by stirring one tablespoon of honey, the juice of half a lemon and salt together in a bowl. When the honey and lemon juice are combined, pour in the cream and whisk - not whip. The lemon juice will thicken the cream.
  • For the salsa verde, start by mixing a tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon of sweet mustard, the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt together in a bowl and give it a good stir. Add the capers, gherkins, the shallot and the garlic. Chop the herbs roughly and add them. There’s no need to chop the herbs too finely, as the roughly chopped herbs give the sauce texture and make it easier to taste the different herbs. Pour 5 to 6 tablespoons of olive oil into the mixture and stir it all together and taste.
  • When the grill is hot place the cabbage on the grill, cutside down. The cabbage needs a couple of minutes on each side until it gets dark grill marks.
  • Place the mackerel fillets skin side down on the grill. The mackerel is only grilled on the skin side because the high heat of the grill will spoil the flesh if it is placed directly on it. The fillets will curl away from the heat, so gently press the fillets down on the grill to ensure that the fish stays flat and all of the skin comes into contact with the grill iron.
  • Grill the fillets for a few minutes. The flesh will turn white when cooked. The mackerel should not be well done, but moist with the flesh translucent in the middle, and with really crisp skin.
  • When the mackerel is done, sprinkle the skin with some salt and leave it to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Transfer the mackerel fillets and the chunks of cabbage onto plates. Serve the mackerel fillets with a good dollop of salsa verde and drizzle the grilled cabbage with Grandma’s dressing and some grated lemon zest.