Lemon mackerel pâté

    45 min

    Whether you are planning a simple family meal or an elegant dinner party, this fresh-tasting smoked fish pâté makes the perfect light starter, served with slices of Granary toast. For an extra special presentation, spoon it into scooped-out lemon shells, which will also enhance the tangy lemon flavour.

    70 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 smoked mackerel fillets, about 125 g (4½ oz) each, skinned
    • 200 g (7 oz) fromage frais
    • finely grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
    • 2 tsp bottled soft green peppercorns, drained, rinsed and chopped, or 1 tsp dried green peppercorns, coarsely crushed
    • 1 tbsp finely snipped fresh chives
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
    • To serve
    • sprigs of parsley
    • lemon wedges

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Using a fork, break up the mackerel fillets into large pieces and place in a bowl. Add the fromage frais, lemon zest, half of the lemon juice, the peppercorns, chives and parsley. Mash all the ingredients together with a fork. This will make a coarse-textured pâté. For a smooth version, combine the ingredients in a food processor and process. Taste the pâté and stir in more lemon juice if necessary.
    2. Spoon the pâté into 4 ramekins, cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Just before serving, top each with a sprig of parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

    Some more ideas

    For a smoked trout pâté, substitute smoked trout fillets for the mackerel and add 1 tbsp creamed horseradish instead of the green peppercorns. * Add a crushed garlic clove and use fresh dill instead of chives. * Toast 50 g (1¾ oz) shelled walnuts or hazelnuts, chop coarsely and fold into the finished pâté. Season with freshly ground black pepper or a small pinch of cayenne pepper. * Chill the pâté in a bowl, then scoop out using an ice cream scoop or a spoon and serve in cup-shaped lettuce leaves. Offer crudités for dipping (such as celery, fennel and carrot sticks, strips of red pepper and whole radishes). * To make lemon shells, cut a sliver off the stalk end of 4 lemons so they stand firmly upright. Cut off a lid from each lemon, about 1 cm (½ in) from the top. Using a grapefruit knife or pointed teaspoon, remove all the flesh from the lemons (keep it for another recipe). Fill the lemon shells with the mackerel pâté and top with the lids. Alternatively, cut the lemons in half horizontally, from the stalk end to the tip. Scoop out the flesh from the halves and fill with the pâté. Serve 2 halves per person.

    Plus points

    Mackerel is an excellent source of vitamin D. Most people obtain all the vitamin D they need from the action of sunlight on skin, but those who remain indoors a lot would benefit from including this fish in their diet on a regular basis. * Lemons, like other citrus fruits, contain excellent levels of vitamin C. Towards the end of the 18th century, lemon juice was used as a means of protecting sailors against scurvy, the disease caused by vitamin C deficiency.

    Each serving provides

    B1, B6, B12, niacin * selenium * B2, iron

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    Reviews in English (1)


    Nice recipe, love the lemon flavours. Going to make it again tomorrow for some friends coming to lunch.  -  29 Mar 2011