As a kid, I distinctly remember our friends and neighbours growing their own fruit and veg, my folks included. Even better, there was a genuine co-op going on. People would pass any excess across the fences when they had too much for themselves. The more entrepreneurial would have a roadside table with an honesty box, sometime flogging some seedlings or eggs.
I’m not getting all rosy-eyed on you here, to be truthful as a child I was completely ignorant to this and, as a picky eater back then it pains me to say, pretty non-plussed. But as I’ve become a little older and arguably, a little wiser. I’ve begun to understand the rewards of growing your own and sharing the produce. It feels like a terrible waste to throw anything away, and over they years I’ve distributed bags of excess apples and plums from the garden rather than bin/compost them.
We were pleased to be given some superb rhubarb by my wife’s colleague James who himself has a great blog called Neat and True Veg, and I intend to use all of it.
The only decision was HOW to use it and then I remembered a recipe I saw about a ‘classic’ combination of mackerel and rhubarb. A quick Google backed me up and helped me convince Helen this was in fact true and not a wind-up.
We got hold of a couple of Mackerel, freshly caught this morning, from Latimers. Still fresh-eyed and stiff as a board.
The rhubarb for this dish was quickly stewed (so as not to lose shape) in a little sugar, salt and water.
As cooks should do, I took a taste…sweet merciful c**p…it was still a little on the tart side. When my face and buttocks unclenched, I added a little more sugar. I took another taste and……it was much better balanced.
The mackerel was rolled in seasoned oat bran and fried. The combination of the sweet/sour rhubarb was good a good one in my opinion.To partner the whole thing, a quick beetroot, feta and walnut salad which is another tried and trusted brethren of ingredients.
- 2 fresh mackerel
- Oil for frying
- 2 handfuls of oat bran (or rolled oats)
- 1 stick of rhubarb, sliced into long blocks
- 1 tbsp sugar and a pinch of salt
- 1 beetroot, cooked and sliced
- 1 celery stick, shredded
- 1/2 block (about a handful) of feta
- 1 handful of chopped walnuts
- Some salad leaves
- For the dressing – wholegrain mustard, honey, oil and seasoning.
Start by slicing the rhubarb into manageable pieces, cover with a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp brown sugar and a little water, bring to a simmer ten minutes or so, or until tender, but not mushy. Remove carefully and leave to cool slightly
Prepare the salad and fell free to tinker, but I used a roast beetroot, salad leaves, a handful each of chopped feta and walnuts and a shredded celery stick. For dressing, I used a tbsp each of wholegrain mustard, honey and rapeseed oil, season slightly.
Fillet the mackerel, season well and roll in the oats. Fry in batches until just done.
Serve it with the rhubarb alongside the salad and enjoy….