One of my solo lunch tricks is to keep in the fridge lots of hardy vegetables that survive having a bit trimmed off before going back in the salad drawer, like fennel and cucumber. I’m not against sandwiches for lunch, but I think if we’re going to make them, let’s make them joyful. This one takes just seconds longer than cheese and pickle would.
With most sandwiches, I think a generous smear of mayonnaise is the right way to go, but mackerel is rich so it doesn’t really need any added fat. That said, a bit of cream cheese wouldn’t go amiss… If you don’t like mackerel, use hot-smoked salmon or trout, or – even better – make this with white crabmeat. Leftovers can be turned into a watercress salad or tossed into pasta, tomorrow.
Prep time: 5 minutes
- Butter, for spreading
- 2 slices of sourdough bread, or four pieces of dark rye bread
- 1 fillet of smoked mackerel, skin removed, flaked into small pieces
- 4 slices of cucumber
- 5 or 6 thin slices of fennel
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Thinly sliced radish; dill fronds; finely chopped chives; shredded cos or chicory; cream cheese
- Butter the bread sparingly.
- Arrange the mackerel on top of one slice (or two slices if using rye bread), then sit the cucumber and fennel slices on top. Grind over some black pepper and squeeze over a little fresh lemon juice.
- Add any optional extras you like, top the sandwich with the other slice of bread and eat straightaway.