Spanish Mackerel Cutlets with Warm Lentil & Preserved Lemon Salad

Recipes | Barbecuing | Moroccan Serves 4 Spanish Mackerel Cutlets with Warm Lentil & Preserved Lemon Salad

In England and France tart green gooseberries are used in a sauce to accompany Mackerel, but any acidic flavour works well, such as the lemon juice, preserved lemons and yoghurt in this dish.


4 x 220g Spanish Mackerel cutlets
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon harissa (see notes)
Thick natural yoghurt, to serve
2 rounds Lebanese bread, quartered

Warm Lentil & Preserved Lemon Salad 
1 cup Puy-style lentils (see notes)
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 small red onion, finely chopped
½ preserved lemon, skin only, finely chopped
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place fish in a shallow, non-reactive dish. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, cumin and harissa and pour over the fish. Mix well and leave to marinate for 30 minutes, turning occasionally. 

Meanwhile, make Lentil Salad: bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add lentils and cook for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain thoroughly, place in a bowl with remaining ingredients and mix well. 

Heat barbecue or char-grill plate. 

Drain fish and cook for 3-4 minutes each side, until flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork. 

Serve with Lentil Salad, yoghurt and Lebanese bread.


Harissa is a North African chilli paste, substitute ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes or 1 small red chilli finely chopped if unavailable.

Puy lentils are small grey-green lentils originally imported from France, but now also grown in Australia; they are available from good delis and specialty food stores.

Alternative species:

Other Mackerels, Blue-Eye Trevalla or steaks of Swordfish, Striped Marlin or Tuna.

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