English weather is being a bit of a moody teenager at the minute. After a bank holiday weekend of glorious sunshine and soaring temperatures (particularly sweltering in my spot in front of the robata grill at work), this week brought ominous stormclouds and torrential downpours before settling into our wonderful island’s go-to mood of grey, damp and a wee bit nippy.
Last week, lunch meant big bowls of leafy salads and iced drinks in the sunshine but the recent ‘inclement weather’ – an expression I enjoy and have only ever come across in announcements on the Tube – has called for something slightly heartier. This recipe for smoked mackerel pâté is one of my favourites for a speedy lunch and substituting the traditional, heavy cream cheese for Greek yoghurt gives it a real lift. It could not be more simple and needs nothing with it other than some hot sourdough toast, a scattering of seeds and a few salad leaves to turn it into a meal that is warm and comforting but, like the hordes of Londoners grim-facedly marching into the drizzle in shorts and summer dresses, refuses to give up the idea that summer has arrived.
Smoked Mackerel Pâté
- 3 hot-smoked mackerel fillets
- 175g extra thick Greek yoghurt
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tsp freshly grated horseradish
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
Peel the skin off the mackerel fillets and check for any stray bones. Flake two of the fillets into a food processor and add the yoghurt and horseradish. Blitz briefly until smooth and transfer to a bowl.
Break up the remaining fish and fold through the pâté along with the herbs and lemon juice. Season liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with hot toast and a green salad.