How often do you walk into a supermarket without a list, hoping to wing it? Probably quite often. It is in those moments when you just can’t quite decide what you want to eat, and so you eventually just wander aimlessly into the shop in the hope that some heavenly arrangement of ingredients will magically leap off the shelves and into your trolley. More often than not they don’t. Usually you end up having a panic attack on aisle 12 and start stuffing chamois and windolene into your basket before buying a frozen pizza and returning home for a dinner of disappointment and MSG.
On a rare occasion this week I managed to employ this tactic and leave with my sanity in tact. I knew that I wanted something on toast, and that was about it. Sashaying through the doors and into the vegetables (it was a fresh shop, you see), some tenderstem broccoli winked at me. Then some chillies and spring onion, a mackerel, and some bread. I was home 5 minutes later, and eating lunch after another 15. A quick, delicious lunch, and it cost me less than a fiver.
Mackerel on toast with broccoli, chilli and mustard seeds
200g tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli
2 spring onions, washed and sliced
1 chilli, deseeded and sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 mackerel fillets
1 loaf of ciabatta, sliced horizontally
– Preheat the grill to 220C.
– Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli. Simmer for 1 1/2 minutes, drain and run under cold water.
– In the same pan, heat a little olive oil until almost smoking and add the chilli, spring onion, garlic and mustard seeds. Stir for a minute then add the broccoli. Stir fry for a further 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper, and turn down the heat to low.
– Drizzle bottom half of the ciabatta with olive oil and pop under the grill. Get a frying pan right hot with a little oil and fry the mackerel, skin side down, for two minutes. Turn onto the flesh side and turn off the heat. Turn the bread and grill for a further minute, before piling the broccoli on top, followed by the mackerel and a squeeze of lemon.