Roast mackerel with beet & spelt salad

This recipe ticks so many health boxes yet still feels like a treat. It's rich in folate, fibre, iron and omega-3. Roasting whole fish on the bone retains flavour, but if you'd rather use fillets, they'll roast or grill in just 10 minutes

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • Serves 2
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 855
  • fat 52g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 50g
  • sugars 18g
  • fibre 12g
  • protein 42g
  • salt 2.5g


  • 300g whole raw beetroot, scrubbed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed but left in their skins
  • 250g pouch ready-cooked spelt (or cook your own, see tip)
  • 2 tsp clear honey
  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts or flaked almonds
  • 50g pitted black olives, roughly chopped (I use the dry Provencal type for texture)
  • 2 whole cleaned mackerel
  • ½ tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • small pack dill, roughly chopped
  • small pack coriander, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • thick creamy yogurt, to serve


Cooking spelt

To cook your own spelt, cover 100g (makes 250g) pearled spelt with cold water and bring to a simmer. Add a little vegetable bouillon powder if you like. Cook for 20 mins until just tender, then drain.


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the beets into wedges and toss with 1 tbsp oil plus some seasoning in an oiled, medium roasting tin. Roast for 40 mins, adding the garlic to the tin with 20 mins to go, until tender and caramelised.

  2. Cook the spelt following pack instructions. Whisk together the remaining oil, the honey and vinegar. Toss this, plus the spelt, nuts and olives, into the beetroot and set aside to cool.

  3. Line a large baking tray with foil. Slash the fish a few times down to the bones on each side and place on the foil. Mix the spices with seasoning, then rub them all over the fish. Raise the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and roast the fish for 15-20 mins or until golden and the dorsal fin at the back pulls away easily.

  4. Just before serving, fold the herbs and red onion into the salad. Season to taste and serve with the fish and a dollop of the yogurt.

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