Mackerel, orange and rocket salad


This is a quick and simple spring recipe taken from my previous blog It Starts With Breakfast. The total time it takes to make from walking into the kitchen to the getting the dish on the table is about 15 minutes. This healthy recipe can be pre-made for a lunch or a lazy weekday supper. It goes particularly well with a large glass of your favourite chilled wine. As a bonus, there is no cooking involved, just a bit of chopping and combining – and if you have any of the ingredients prepared in advance, well there’s even less to do!

Note: If you are pre-making this for a lunch to eat cold later, make the dressing and store separately (in a sealable container – so no spillages in your bag), and toss together only when you’re ready to eat.

Serve with crusty bread (and a slathering of butter if you’re that way inclined – I am).

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes


  • 2 fillets of smoked mackerel, chopped into bite size portions;
  • 100g couscous;
  • zest and juice of ½ large orange;
  • 50g salad leaves (I used a mix of watercress, rocket and spinach) with any large leaves torn up into smaller pieces;
  • ½ medium-sized red onion, finely diced;
  • handful of toasted pine nuts;
  • 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar;
  • A large glass of your favourite chilled wine (white or rosé) to drink


  1. Put the couscous in a small bowl and cover with boiled water until the water comes up above the couscous by about 1cm, then cover with cling film so no steam escape. It will take no more than 10 minutes for the couscous to absorb all the water.
  2. In the meantime, finely dice the red onion, zest the orange and tear up the mackerel filets and add to a large bowl with the salad leaves and pine nuts.
  3. In another small bowl/cup add the orange juice, olive oil and red wine vinegar and give a good mix.
  4. Once the couscous has absorbed the water, fork through and add to the large bowl. Then pour over the orange dressing and combine everything carefully with a fork.
  5. Serve and enjoy (responsibly) with your favourite wine.

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