Grilled mackerel and mackerel tartare with shallot rings, croûtons and coriander cress

This delicate starter or canapé, with its zingy flavours and elegant presentation, is sure to be a hit with friends and family.


For the mackerel tartare
  • 2 mackerel fillets, 1 skinned, pin-boned and finely diced, 1 left whole
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice only
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tsp baby capers, drained, finely chopped
  • 50g/1¾oz crème fraîche
For the shallot rings
  • 100ml/3½fl oz rice wine vinegar
  • 20g/¾oz caster sugar
  • 2 banana shallots, finely sliced into rings
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped celery
  • ½ bunch radishes, preferably the French Breakfast variety
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped celery leaves
For the croûtons
  • 100ml/3½fl oz olive oil
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp coriander cress, to serve

Preparation method

  1. For the mackerel tartare, mix all of the mackerel tartare ingredients, apart from the whole mackerel fillet, together in a bowl until well combined. Chill in the fridge until needed.

  2. Preheat the grill to a medium setting. Place the whole mackerel fillet on a baking tray and grill for 2-3 minutes, or until browned on top and cooked through. Set aside.

  3. For the shallot rings, heat the rice wine vinegar and sugar in a non-reactive saucepan over a medium heat. When the mixture is just coming up to the boil, add the shallot rings, celery stalk, radishes and salt. Set aside to macerate for 5 minutes. Stir in the celery leaves just before serving.

  4. For the croûtons, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns golden-brown when dropped into it. (Caution: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Add the baguette slices to the hot oil, in batches if necessary, and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides and crisp. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

  5. To serve, divide the croûtons equally among four serving plates. Top each croûton with a spoonful of the mackerel tartare. Spoon the shallot rings and macerating liquid alongside. Garnish with the coriander cress and a small piece of grilled mackerel.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

Less than 10 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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