Smoked mackerel and Puy lentil salad with lime dressing

    45 min

    Large flakes of peppered smoked mackerel, sprigs of watercress and thick slices of juicy, sweet pear make an exciting combination, and they work well with earthy, nutty-textured Puy lentils in a lime and honey dressing. Serve with Melba toast or wholemeal bread for a starter that will set tastebuds tingling.

    5 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 140 g (5 oz) Puy lentils
    • 150 g (5½ oz) peppered smoked mackerel fillet, skinned and flaked into large pieces
    • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
    • 85 g (3 oz) watercress sprigs
    • 1 large pear, preferably red-skinned, cored and thickly sliced
    • Lime dressing
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • grated zest and juice of 1 lime
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tbsp clear honey
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Put the lentils into a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes or until they are tender but slightly firm to the bite.
    2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Put the olive oil, lime zest and juice, mustard and honey in a mixing bowl, and add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together well.
    3. Drain the lentils and tip into the mixing bowl. Toss to coat with the dressing, then fold in the mackerel and spring onions.
    4. Arrange the watercress and pear slices on 6 serving plates. Spoon the lentil and mackerel mixture on top and serve immediately.

    Another idea

    To make a smoked trout and green lentil salad with raspberry vinaigrette, replace the Puy lentils with green lentils, cooking them for 20–30 minutes. In the dressing, replace the lime zest and juice with 2 tbsp raspberry vinegar. Instead of smoked mackerel, fold in large flakes of smoked trout. Spoon the lentil mixture onto a bed of 85 g (3 oz) watercress tossed with 45 g (1½ oz) torn Lollo Rosso leaves and garnish with 55 g (2 oz) raspberries.

    Plus points

    Although lentils contain iron, the absorption of this mineral from them is normally poor. Adding ingredients rich in vitamin C, such as limes and watercress, can improve the absorption of iron considerably. * Oily fish such as mackerel (both fresh and smoked) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that is believed to help to prevent heart disease and strokes by making the blood less sticky and therefore less likely to clot. Omega-3 fats may also be helpful in preventing and treating arthritis. * Dark green, leafy vegetables such as watercress provide many vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene, vitamin C and folate. Watercress is also a good source of calcium.

    Each serving provides

    B12, selenium * C, copper * A, B1, B6, niacin, iron, potassium, zinc

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