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Smoked Mackerel & Beetroot Salad

Our Smoked Mackerel & Beetroot Salad pairs smoky mackerel with earthy beetroot, sweet carrot and fresh cucumber. Then we finish our mackerel salad with Creamy Horseradish Dressing, which has a citrus burst from the lemon and a freshness from parsley.

Our easy smoked mackerel salad with horseradish dressing not only tastes great but can be prepared and on the table in 20 minutes, making this a great lunch or light dinner option.

This best smoked mackerel salad is a great way of adding omega-3 oils into our diets.

What is smoked mackerel?

Smoked mackerel is either whole mackerel or mackerel fillets that have been hot smoked to preserve the fish. The smoking leaves the flesh really moist and it works in a variety of difference dishes, including salads, smoked mackerel pates and it works beautifully in a kedgeree too.

How do you eat smoked mackerel?

Smoked mackerel can be eaten hot or cold. In this salad the fillets are broken up and served cold. However, you can leave them whole and oven bake, grill or shallow fry smoked mackerel too.

Is smoked mackerel good for you?

Smoked mackerel is naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and in omega-3 oils which is the good fat found in oily fish. We should all be including more oily fish in our weekly diets as omega-3 is essential in keeping our hearts healthy and aids brain function and development.

What does smoked mackerel pair with?

Smoked mackerel works well with flavours that cut through both the smoke and oiliness of the fish. The earthy flavour of beetroot works really well with mackerel, alongside fresh flavours like cucumber, lemon, pea, dill, parsley and watercress. Smoked mackerel and horseradish is also a great flavour combination, and hot horseradish forms the basis of dressing for this salad.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • The perfect balance of flavours a little bit of smoke from the fish; earthiness from the beetroot, freshness from the cucumber and finished with a zesty and creamy horseradish dressing.
  • Make ahead by prepping the veggies earlier in the day and storing in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.
  • Ready in 20 minutes making this a great lunch or light dinner option.

How to make smoked mackerel & beetroot salad:

Fresh, raw beetroot grated finely in a food processor.
  • Remove the skin from the smoked mackerel fillets and discard. Using your hands, break the fillets into bite sized pieces and set aside.
  • Cut the green beans in half and place into a pan of salted boiling water to blanch for 4 minutes. Then drain the beans into a sieve and run under cold running water to stop the beans from cooking further.
  • Prepare the remaining vegetables and set aside until ready to assemble the salad. A food processor will make light work of this. However, if you don’t have one a regular grater will work just as well.
5 prep dishes containing grated carrot, grated raw beetroot, diced cucumber, chopped spring onions and cooked and sliced green beans.
  • Keep the beetroot separate so that it does not bleed into the other vegetables.
  • When ready to assemble the salad, place the lettuce leaves on the bottom of the serving plate or bowl and scatter over the remaining salad ingredients, finishing with the flaked fish.
  • Drizzle over the salad dressing and serve immediately.

How to make smoked mackerel salad dressing:

  • Place all the ingredients for the horseradish salad dressing into a bowl and whisk to form a smooth dressing. Season to taste and if time allows, set aside for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together.
  • Alternatively place all the ingredients into a jam jar with a lid and give the dressing a good shake to combine.

Recipe ingredients & substitutions:

Ingredients to make a smoked mackerel and beetroot salad with horseradish dressing.

Smoked Mackerel Salad

  • Mackerel: I used 2 hot smoked mackerel fillets for this salad. I opted for black pepper coated fillets, however, you can use plain smoked mackerel or any other flavoured fillets.
  • Beetroot: is grated into the salad. Raw beetroot has a great earthy flavour which pairs really well with beetroot.
  • Carrot: has a lovely sweet flavour which balances well with the oily fish and earthy beetroot.
  • Green beans: are first blanched in hot water before being added to the salad.
  • Cucumber: adds freshness to the salad, remove the core first as this stops the salad becoming too wet.
  • Spring onions: add a mild onion flavour to the salad. You could swap spring onions for a red onion which also has a milder flavour.
  • Greens: watercress or mixed salad leaves are added to the salad. You could also use rocket if you prefer.
  • Garnish: to garnish the salad add some freshly chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon for added citrus zing.

Horseradish Salad Dressing

  • Horseradish sauce: forms the base of the salad dressing. If you don’t like horseradish, swap it for some Dijon mustard instead.
  • Oil: I use extra virgin olive oil but you can use regular olive oil, a light rapeseed oil, or sunflower oil.
  • Acid: the acidity in the salad dressing comes from fresh lemon juice. White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar would also work well.
  • Creamy: sour cream adds the creamy element to the salad dressing. You can swap sour cream for creme fraiche or Greek yogurt if you prefer.
  • Fresh herbs: I have used some freshly chopped parsley as it pairs well with the smoky fish. You could also swap the parsley for fresh dill.

Serving suggestions:

This Easy Smoked Mackerel & Beetroot Salad serves 2 as a lunch of light dinner dish. It also makes a great dinner party starter where it will serve 4 as an appetiser.

Smoked Mackerel pieces on top of salad leaves, mixed with grated beetroot, carrots and spring onions served with lemon wedges and topped with a creamy horseradish dressing.

Can Easy Smoked Mackerel & Beetroot salad be made ahead?

This salad is so quick to prepare that I tend to make and serve it fresh. However, if you want to get ahead, make the salad dressing earlier in the day and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Likewise prepare all the vegetables and store in separate boxes in the fridge, this will stop the beetroot from bleeding into the other ingredients.

Don’t assemble the salad until you are ready to serve, otherwise the dressing will cause the other salad ingredients to wilt.

Useful hints and tips:

  1. Equipment: a food processor makes quick work of grating the carrot and beetroot – it also saved staining hands with the beetroot juice. You can use a regular grater if you prefer.
  2. Seasoning: when making the salad dressing always check the seasoning once it is made. Proper seasoning will make all the difference to the finished dressing.
  3. Use a jam jar! I make all my salad dressing using a jam jar with a tight-fitting lid. This makes storing any leftover dressing really easy, just screw on the lid and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  4. Dairy free: to adapt this recipe for dairy free diners, remove the sour cream from the salad dressing and make a horseradish vinaigrette instead. Just check that the horseradish sauce you are using is dairy free.
  5. Egg free: most horseradish sauce contains egg so if you have an egg allergy, replace the horseradish sauce with some Dijon mustard instead.
  6. Allergy advice: gluten free, soya free and nut free. For comprehensive and detailed allergy advice go to Allergy UK.

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Additional recipe suggestions:

If you like this recipe then try some of our other salad recipes:

Love salad? Then head to our Best Salad Recipes post where you will find links to all our favourite salads in one place.

Smoked Mackerel & Beetroot Salad with Horseradish Salad Dressing

Smoked Mackerel & Beetroot Salad pairs mackerel with earthy beetroot, and we finish our mackerel salad with horseradish dressing.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 467kcal

Ingredients

  • 160 g hot smoked mackerel fillets (2 fillets)
  • 50 g green beans
  • 1 beetroot (peeled and grated)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and grated)
  • ½ cucumber (core removed)
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 handfuls watercress or mixed salad leaves
  • 2 sprigs parsley (chopped – garnish)
  • ½ lemon (cut in two wedges – garnish)

Horseradish Salad Dressing

  • 1 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Place all the ingredients for the horseradish salad dressing into a bowl and whisk to form a smooth dressing. Season to taste and if time allows, set aside for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together. [Alternatively place all the ingredients into a jam jar with a lid and give the dressing a good shake to combine].
  • Remove the skin from the smoked mackerel fillets and discard. Using your hands, break the fillets into bite sized pieces and set aside.
  • Cut the green beans in half and place into a pan of salted boiling water to blanch for 4 minutes. Then drain the beans into a sieve and run under cold running water to stop the beans from cooking further.
  • Prepare the remaining vegetables and set aside until ready to assemble the salad. Keep the beetroot separate so that it does not bleed into the other vegetables.
  • When ready to assemble the salad, place the lettuce leaves on the botton of the serving plate or bowl and scatter over the remaining salad ingedients, finishing with the flaked fish.
  • Drizzle over the salad dressing and serve immediately.

Notes

I make all my salad dressing using a jam jar with a tight-fitting lid. This makes storing any leftover dressing really easy, just screw on the lid and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Facts
Smoked Mackerel & Beetroot Salad with Horseradish Salad Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 467 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 23g
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 145mg6%
Potassium 849mg24%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 5848IU117%
Vitamin C 38mg46%
Calcium 94mg9%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Canape, Starter, Side, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine : British
Keyword : best smoked mackerel salad, easy smoked mackerel salad, smoked mackerel and beetroot, smoked mackerel and horseradish, smoked mackerel salad dressing
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Recipe Rating




sisley White

Saturday 11th of June 2022

This was so tasty! I will definitely be making it again

Lesley

Monday 13th of June 2022

Thank you Sisley, I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

Chloe

Friday 27th of May 2022

Whoever said salads are boring are looking in the wrong place - this is a flavour bomb!

Lesley

Tuesday 31st of May 2022

Thank you Chloe, its certainly flavourful and a real hit with my own family.