If you asked me what my perfect lunch would be I would say without doubt salad! Spring, summer and autumn. This lunch offering has a great balance of flavours, with a miso dressing, yielding a rich umami flavour.
Salty, sweet, bitter, and sour—these are the four types of taste we recognise. Is that really all there is, though? Have you ever had the sensation that you weren’t eating something salty, bitter, sweet, or sour? A dish that might have had all those components to it, and yet it just wasn’t describable in such terms? This flavour is known as “umami,” or the fifth taste sensation. Umami makes foods taste savoury, complex and deeply satisfying.
Miso is considered a superfood because it is packed with healthy probiotics and vitamin B12. Both the colour and flavour of miso depends on which grains are used – barley and rice are common – how long the miso has fermented, and the proportion of grain to soybean. Usually, you’ll find that the lighter the colour, the milder the taste. Traditional Japanese miso made from soy is gluten-free, but miso made from other grains may not be. Be sure to read the labels carefully if you follow a gluten free diet.
Mackerel has a significant amount of calories but does not contain any carbohydrates, it’s a great source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids and also high in the minerals: magnesium, phosphorus and especially selenium. In addition to being high in vitamins. What’s more it is sustainable in the UK.
This salad is a must for a healthy, sustaining and satisfying lunch.
Smoked Mackerel Salad with Miso Dressing
Yield 4 Portions
- 1 Pink grapefruit
- 1 Red onion
- 100g Baby spinach, washed
- 180g each of white and red cabbage
- 60g Farro dicocco (I bought the quick cook variety)
- 4 Smoked mackerel fillets
- 2 Tbls White wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 6 Tbls Sunflower oil
- 2 Tsp Dark Miso paste
- Begin by shredding the cabbage as finely as possible, a mandolin is best for this job but a sharp knife will do. Finely slice the red onion. Place them into a bowl and then massage a little salt and 2 tablespoons vinegar into the shredded cabbage and red onion, add 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil, stir, let it stand for 15 mins. Prepare the other salad ingredients.
- Segment the grapefruit and reserve any juice for the dressing. Cook the farro according to the packet instructions. Skin the mackerel fillets and break up into smaller pieces.
- Make the dressing: add the miso to a bowl and pour any juices from the grapefruit into the bowl, add the juice of a small lemon and 3 tbls oil and a little salt, whisk.
- Arrange the salad ingredients on the plate and drizzle over the dressing.