Looking at this salad now, I feel like one or other of the ingredients should be dropped – maybe the rice, or if not that then the currants. But despite being a bit of a mish-mash, it tasted delicious. The mackerel was very fishy, which played well against the pine nuts, currants and sherry vinegar. The cauliflower and rice gave it all some body and chewiness. A very satisfying lunch.
half a cup of red rice
half a small head of cauliflower
sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon mild paprika
half a small bunch of young cavolo nero
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons currants
1 small whole smoked mackerel
Cook the rice in boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Break the cauliflower into florets and place in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for about 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is starting to become tender and just starting to go golden on the edges. Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the paprikas and a dash of sherry vinegar. Toss together and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until cooked but not soft. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Remove any thick stems from the cavolo nero, then cook briefly in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water. Squeeze the water out of the leaves with your hands, then lay the leaves out on a chopping board. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over low heat until they are just starting to colour. If the currants are dry, you can soak them in a little hot water and sherry vinegar to plump them up, then drain.
Make a dressing of sherry vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard to taste; season and shake well to emulsify.
Remove the skin and bones from the mackerel and flake into bite-sized pieces.
Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl, add the dressing, and toss gently. Eat at once.