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comfort food

london has been a very wet and slightly chilly place this august bank holiday weekend. food that can be pulled together quickly and easily to provide maximum “mmmmm” feelings was needed and this spinach, lemon and peppered mackerel pilaf certainly hit the spot. nice and cheap too!


spinach, lemon and peppered mackerel pilaf (serves 2-3)

225g peppered mackerel

5g butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

250g basmati rice

500ml vegetable stock (i make this with bouillon powder)

seeds from 2 cardamom pods

pinch of saffron threads

zest and juice of 1 lemon

150g baby leaf spinach

1 handful chopped parsley

remove the skin from the mackerel and break the fillets of fish into bite-size pieces.

heat the butter and oil over a medium heat, until the butter melts. add the rice and stir so it looks glossy. add the stock, cardamom seeds, saffron, lemon juice and zest. bring to the boil then put a lid on the pan, turn the heat to low and leave to cook until all the liquid is absorbed (10-15 minutes).

when the rice is cooked, put the spinach on top of the rice and put the lid back on the pan so that the spinach wilts from the heat of the rice. you can then stir the spinach into the rice, adding the mackerel and parsley.

Reader Comments (10)

I made this tonight and loved it. I've made lots though and there's only me who'll eat it. Do you think it would freeze?
October 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarlboro
hi marlboro - i've not tried freezing it and don't think it would be great. i tend to make it early in the week and have leftover portions as packed lunches. it's nice as long as you eat it at room temperature.
October 26, 2007 | Registered Commenterabby
OK, it looks like I've got lunch sorted for the next 3 days then. Thanks
October 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarlboro
lucky you!
October 26, 2007 | Registered Commenterabby
i made this minus the cardamom as I'm not a huge fan and it was delicious! your smoked mackerel recipes are great - i've always loved it but never knew what to use it for apart from salads.
February 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarolyn
hi carolyn, i'm so pleased you're still finding new mackerel recipes of mine to try. i need to think about trying something new myself as i keep making the same old favourites.in fact, i made a batch of this today for packed lunches!
February 25, 2008 | Registered Commenterabby
I made this, and wasn't keen at all when it was fresh from the hob on Wednesday evening. I've just grabbed the leftovers from the fridge for lunch and it's gorgeous! Definitely a dish that benefits from standing a while.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPip
hi pip. i'm not keen on this when it's still hot and freshly made - i actually much prefer to eat it at room temperature. i'm glad you gave it a second chance.
July 28, 2008 | Registered Commenterabby

Just followed the recipe but experimented by adding whisky. Unfortunately i can no longer experience normal bowel functions. Thanks a million.
August 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCraig Stewart
just goes to show you craig, never experiment with whisky!
August 4, 2008 | Registered Commenterabby

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