Mackerel, beetroot and horseradish salad

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Around Christmas time, Greg and I went to River Cottage’s canteen in Bristol, where we tried one of the most amazing, yet oddest of combinations on a thin stoned baked pizza. The combination was exactly as I’ve written in the title; mackerel, beetroot and horseradish.

Greg saw it on the menu and like most of us who absolutely love food, was thinking, ‘Oh how weird does that sound – I wanna try that one!’ In the end, I’m sure it’s one of main combinations that has changed our lives… I know that may sound a bit extreme, but it worked so amazingly well together that we’ve kind of made it like 5 times on our home made pizzas ever since! With the addition of some mozzarella on top too, naturally.

But the other night, we really fancied something quick after work, which included this combo, but not on a carb loaded pizza base. So what we did with this random craving for mackerel, beetroot and horseradish (as you do after trying it), we made it into a big, warm salad.

This image, to me, is one of my favourites that I’ve taken so far. Simply because I’ve hardly done anything special to the picture except show the dish alone – which already shows me depth in colours and the ingredients that have clearly been used, but kept ever so simple and easily made – yet it stands out in all the right ways. Perhaps I’m feeling all of this because I’m in love with this new salad idea! And I needed to share it because It’s the perfect amount of ingredients to get your intake of veg, proteins and carbs but with a depth of flavours and textures, giving you ultimate satisfaction for a healthy meal on a spring evening.

I not only ask that you try this salad, but to also have the courage to place it on some home-made pizzas for the nights you don’t fancy a warm salad. And do admire your dish however you decide to plate it up – because the food will be gone before even blinking twice, I promise you.

Recipe: serves 2.

10 small new potatoes cut into thick rings

1 small pack of green beans, ends cut off and the beans chopped into bite sized pieces

2 readily boiled beetroots (not pickled), cubed

2 peppered smoked mackerels, torn into pieces

Fennel seeds, toasted then crushed in a mortar and pestle

Dressing: horseradish and extra virgin olive oil

Make your dressing by combining the ingredients till the strength in horseradish is to your liking.

Cook the potatoes and green beans in boiling water for about 10mins till you can easily pierce a piece of new potato. Drain and place on a baking sheet and coat in some olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place under a pre-heated grill on medium heat for about 5-10mins, till the new potatoes brown slightly.

Plate up the potatoes and green beans, then top with the cubed beetroot, torn mackerel, with a sprinkle of the fennel seeds, and finally spoon over the horseradish dressing. Serve, and always remember me for telling you about this combo..!

Birthday to Bank Holidays

Road tripI tell you what, it’s been a manic but incredible week! Not only was it my birthday that went by, but with the bank holiday falling on the same week, it’s all been about exploring on both my feet and with my taste palette! Best kind of exploring, hands down. Originally, I was hoping to spend my birthday away on holiday for a week, but then realised not long ago, and clearly far too late, that my passport had run out last year..! Which reminds me, I still need to renew it… So instead, Greg and I did some road trips in the South West to Glastonbury, Stroud, Cornwall, which included St. Ives… So now, let me tell you of all the FOOD I’ve had in the past 7 days! Get ready… Lido, Bristol For my birthday, we spent the evening in Bristol and went to this fantastic restaurant, Lido. They not only have some of the best reviews around the food scene in Bristol, but they also have themselves a spa next to the restaurant, where you can see their huge swimming pool when eating. It’d be the perfect place to spend half a day, just getting some swimming done, having treatments like a massage and facial, then eat some amazing food… Who’d complain about that?! We had the ‘Bird Menu’ where there is… no menu at all. As ‘the ultimate gift for foodies’, we were bought out dishes without knowing what to expect. I could easily do this anytime since I eat literally everything and thankfully have no allergies – although they do check this with you right at the start so they know how to adapt – so it’s open for everyone.

scallops

Scallops, crab, fois gras

Snails and octopus

Snails risotto, octopus and chorizo salad

Salmon, asparagus, coriander

Salmon with asparagus

Pork with morrels

Pork with morels and chestnut mushrooms, which was served with buttered potatoes and spinach.

Me and ice cream Who was the happy birthday girl? ME! Because there were 6 kinds of ice-cream for dessert to finish with… Mint, salted caramel, rum and raisin, mango, passion fruit and then chocolate. When the waitress bought them out, I was so excited I told her that I’m never leaving the restaurant..! Next stop was St. Ives… St. IvesCan I just stop and say, who knew how beautiful St. Ives is?! I couldn’t believe my eyes when driving down – the never ending sea with the beautiful houses on the cliffs… With the sun out it felt like I just arrived in Greece! Stunning place. Though only had time for breakfast at this gorgeous contemporary café in front of Tate St. Ives.

Saffron toast

Traditional Cornish saffron toast

Vitamin B juice

Vitamin B juice: beetroot, apple, celery and ginger – gorgeous

Having seen the Tate and then popping into Bernard Leach’s pottery studio (both are well worth the visit), we drove back to Bristol, but made a pit stop in Truro, where we randomly saw a converted church into a very cool burger and hot dog joint. This is where you need to let me introduce you to Hubbox. Hobbox, when walking in, had the same feel inside to some of the burger joints in Bristol, trendy, lots of great artwork on the walls, a bit shabby chic and good music. But absolutely nothing impressed me more than the damn good, finger licking, wide eyes after each bite, food! pulled pork porn This was a snap for my Instagram (which is full of food pics if you want to find me on there by the way), and it includes the whole meal – which I could have again right now! It was the best pulled pork burger I’ve ever eaten – smokey, rich, smooth in a sauce so good I didn’t want to drop any of it, served with apple slaw and pickle on the side. Not to mention the buns, which were soft and a bit sweet. Greg ate a chilli dog and to share we had hand cut fries with amazing nachos, where the chips were also handmade and just perfect when scooping up the sour cream and home-made guacamole, then a salad with fresh tomatoes and onions and all of it slathered with cheese. .. You can tell by now that I was very happy at the end of this meal…

So I’ll leave it at that! I did attend the Bristol Food Connections and Eat Drink Bristol Fashion events happening in the city but it’ll end being an even longer blog post going into detail! But I can say that I’m so pleased to be around so much here in the south west. It’s great being somewhere that still feels new and having the opportunity to just explore…

If anything, I hope this post has helped some of you to think of things to do when visiting this side, or making the most of it if you’re already here. 🙂