Grilled mackerel with caramalised red onions and prunes

The balsamic syrup adds an irresistibly bitter-sweet appeal to this attractive starter or light-lunch dish

Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 125g/4½oz California prunes, chopped
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 4 skinless mackerel fillets
  • 60g/2½oz ready-prepared wild rocket or watercress
  • 2 tbsp balsamic syrup


Preheat the grill to hot. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion on a low heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften. Add the prunes, balsamic vinegar and honey and continue to cook over a very low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the prunes sticking to the pan.

Meanwhile, place the mackerel fillets on a grill pan and cook under the preheated grill for 4-5 minutes on each side – do not overcook. Divide the rocket or watercress between 4 plates and top each one with a mackerel fillet.

Spoon over the caramelised red onion and prunes and drizzle with the balsamic syrup. Serve immediately with some crusty bread to mop up the syrup, if liked.

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