smoked mackerel (sort-of) pilaf

Mike’s recent birthday week involved a large amount of rich food and lovely booze, so the one evening we spent ‘dry’ called for a dish rich in flavour AND nutritious stuff. This was just the ticket.

For 2 people you will need:
140g brown basmati rice
1 chicken/veg stock cube
2 smoked mackerel fillets (although there were 3 in the pack I used), flaked into bite-sized pieces
1 bag baby spinach
1 packet tenderstem broccoli
A few spring onions (4 will do), snipped into small bits with scissors
1 red chilli, sliced finely
Large handful of chopped parsley
1 lemon
1 small tub low-fat yoghurt
Freshly ground black pepper (I didn’t add any salt as the stock cube was already quite salty, but it’s up to you)

Mix the stock cube with water, and use that to cook your rice. I use the absorption method, which always works well for me – and I always stir with a fork, never a spoon.
While the rice is cooking (about 20 minutes) prep the other ingredients – cook the broccoli until tender but not floppy, chop the parsley, chilli and spring onions and flake the smoked mackerel. Add a small squeeze of the lemon and a pinch of the chopped parsley to the yoghurt (I do this in the yoghurt tub, no point creating more washing up), mix well and put in the fridge.
When the rice is cooked turn off the heat, then add the chilli, spring onions, broccoli, spinach (straight from the packet), and remaining parsley. Squeeze over the rest of the lemon and add a healthy grind of pepper, then mix it all together (with a fork!). Once it’s all evenly mixed add the mackerel, taking care not to break up the flakes too much.

Serve with a dollop of the yoghurt on the side.

This would work just as well with salmon, or even chicken. You can add whatever green veg you like – asparagus would be lovely. And you don’t have to stick to parsley – any combination of leafy herbs will do.


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