Thursday , May 19 2022
Seared Mackerel, Crispy Beetroot Gnocchi, Chestnut & Rocket Pesto 1

Seared Mackerel, Crispy Beetroot Gnocchi, Chestnut & Rocket Pesto

by Darren Pryer (executive chef at the Spowston Manor Marriott Hotel at time of print)


Recipe published in Feast, Issue 22 – December 2017

Serves Five


5 fillets of mackerel

For the gnocchi
500g of potatoes, peeled
250g of cooked beetroot (50g, diced small, to be kept aside for presentation)
1 lemon, juiced (plus zest, to taste)
150g of plain flour
1 egg
salt and pepper

For the pesto
1 large bag of ready washed rocket leaves (leaving a small amount back for garnish, and to toss in the gnocchi)
50g of peeled roasted chestnuts
50g of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
garlic, to taste
extra virgin olive oil, to loosen the sauce
salt and pepper

For the gnocchi: Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain and mash well. Allow to cool. Purée the beetroot and lemon juice in a Nutri Mix blender until smooth. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Transfer to a floured surface and knead well then roll in long tubes (the width of sausages but as long as possible), cut into small bite size pieces and place on a floured tray. Refrigerate until required

For the mackerel: Ensure that the fillets have had all small pin bones removed from along the centre of the fillet using fish tweezers. On the skin side, make 5-6 light cuts across the fish to assist the cooking process. Ensure that they are not cut too deep

For the pesto: Place all the ingredients, bar the olive oil, into your chosen blender. When the ingredients are puréed, slowly add the olive oil until the desired consistency of your pesto. Taste and correct seasoning, if required

When ready to cook: Have a pan of boiling, salted water ready on your stove. Heat up a non-stick pan at the same time. Throw the gnocchi into the boiling water. When the gnocchi rise to the top they are cooked. Rub a small amount of oil onto the skin side of the fillet and place fish, skin side down, into the hot pan. Push the fillets down so all of the fish skin gets cooked. After about 3-4 minutes, turn over the fish and turn off the heat, as the residual heat will be sufficient to cook the fish. Strain the now cooked gnocchi. Fry a little in a pre-heated pan, with a small amount of hot oil, so that the individual dumplings become crispy. Add the diced beetroot and chopped rocket. Season as required, turnover, and repeat process. Place the gnocchi in the centre of your chosen large plate or deep pasta bowl. Place the fillet of fish on top of the gnocchi, skin side up. Drizzle the pesto around the side of the gnocchi and garnish with some fresh rocket. Serve

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