Chargrilled potatoes with grilled mackerel and a spiced sweet pepper salsa

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Emily Watkins serves up a stunning grilled mackerel atop a bed of chargrilled potatoes. A sweet pepper salsa, spiked with anchovies and olives, adds a gorgeous vibrancy to the dish.

First published in 2018




Grilled mackerel

Sweet pepper salsa

Chargrilled potatoes


  • Griddle pan
  • Blowtorch


To begin, prepare the salsa. Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas mark 9 (or its highest setting)
Place the peppers in an ovenproof dish with a little oil over them and roast the peppers for 10 minutes until taking colour. Pour the peppers into a bowl and wrap the bowl tightly in cling film. Leave until they have cooled to room temperature
  • 4 peppers, a sweeter variety such as Romano, or nice ripe bell peppers
  • 1 dash of olive oil
Once cool, remove the peppers and peel off the loosened skin. Slice open lengthways and scrape out all the seeds before chopping the flesh. Set aside
Finely chop the shallots and garlic and sweat them in a couple of tablespoons of light oil
Once the shallots are cooked through, add the cumin and chilli to the pan, followed by the chopped peppers. Roughly chop the olives and anchovies, add them to the pan and season. Set aside to cool
Simmer the potatoes in salted boiling water until just tender. Leave to cool, then slice into 1cm thick wedges
Place a griddle pan on a high heat and once it starts to smoke, lay the potato slices on the griddle. Leave until deep char lines appear, then turn and repeat on the other side. Place the potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with a dash of oil. Season with sea salt
Place the butterflied mackerel on an oven tray, skin-side up. Use a blowtorch to 'cook' the mackerel on the skin side only
Chop the parsley and stir into the salsa with the cold-pressed oil. Divide the potatoes between serving dishes, place the mackerel on top and finish with the salsa. Serve immediately

Mother of three and previously chef-owner at The Kingham Plough, Oxfordshire, Emily Watkins has a lot on her proverbial plate. But it hasn’t stopped her from becoming one of Britain’s leading chefs.

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