Healthy Eating Recipes Vegetarian

Spinach and Mackerel Risotto

Mackerel Risotto

Coming from a medieval market town situated on the coast of West Wales naturally that I’ve grown up with the smell of the sea and fish all around me. One of the most amazing things about living so close to a thriving sea is being able to indulge in a  little fishing from time to time. My dad has become a pretty enthusiastic fisher over the past few years, and although I’ve not quite followed him in his hobby I have been fishing with him a few times.

There are two benefits of catching your own fish: firstly, it means the fish are extra fresh and tasty; and, secondly it means the fish are free. Unfortunately, the season for mackerel isn’t quite upon us yet so  I can’t write a post which includes any freshly caught fish. However, I thought it would be nice to write about such experiences at the beginning of  a truly delicious recipe that really shows off the flavour of a good smoked mackerel recipe.

The problem with eating fish once a week or, indeed, every Friday, as every “proper” family should, is that it can cost a proverbial “arm and a leg.” To get around this, it is either best to get the cheaper fish such as mackerel or haddock, or if you’re making a fish pie, buy off-cuts of salmon, cod or haddock from your fishmongers. If you’re happy to eat the cheaper types of fish, then you’ll really save rather a lot of money. However, that is not to say that the cheaper fish are in any way inferior to those that are more expensive. Indeed, I think mackerel if properly prepared has a really exquisite flavour, not to mention the fact it has roughly double the amount of Omega 3 as a salmon of similar size.

At this point I’m going to advocate purchasing your smoked mackerel either from a fishmongers, where you know it’s been reliably sourced, or from Sainsbury’s because even in the basics range their mackerel is “certified sustainable seafood.” What this basically means is that the fish aren’t going to run out any time soon, if ever – which is a nice thought. However, I think I’ve been blabbering enough, on with the cooking!

Spinach and Mackerel Risotto {recipe}

Serves 2


  • 3 fillets of smoked mackerel, broken up into chunks
  • large handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic mashed
  • 150g risotto rice, any rice will do though
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • seasoning
  • knob of butter, or spread
  1.  Fry off the onion and garlic in oil, adding the rice when translucent. Stir until the rice is covered in oil and onions and cook for a couple of minutes.
  2. Stir in around 150ml of stock, wait for it to cook in. Repeat until all the stock has been added or the rice is cooked, which ever comes first. Season to taste.
  3. Add in a good knob of butter and the mackerel and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then fold the spinach in gently. Serve in a bowl either on its own or with salad or bread.
Altogether the price of both meals should come to around £2.30, and most that is spent on the mackerel. To be honest, if one wanted to make it even cheaper one could use slightly less mackerel and still get a really strong flavour.

11 replies on “Spinach and Mackerel Risotto”

I love mackerel and this looks lovely.

However, can you reload your photo on UKFB ‘I’ve Blogged’ in a smaller resolution? It seems to be huge and causing problems loading. Thanks.

This blog is rapidly becoming my “go to” place for simple, healthy and eminently worthy recipes to try and to save. The whole food ethos is to eat what is in season, what is local and what is abundant/plentiful at any given time by combining it beautifully with other ingredients and turning out something that makes the eater smile with anticipation and feel redolent with simple primal happiness once they are replete from said meal. You hit the nail on the head with your recipes. The frugality that comes with growing your own and sourcing locally and cooking seasonally is a wonderful added bonus. I am really glad that I stumbled onto your website by seeing your comments on another website. I would have missed out severely if I hadn’t been the nosey magpie collector of recipes that I am :). Thank you for your 2012 recipes (even though some of them are from 2011 😉 ) and I am eagerly anticipation many degustatory moments at the hands of your wonderful website in 2013 and sharing my delightful finds with family and friends 🙂

I am too lazy for that…I just read other people’s comments and if they seem to be entertaining or interesting I check out their blogs. I have found some really wonderful blogs like that, yours included :). Call it my naturally serendipitous desire to let life lead me around by the nose (the smell of cooking bacon, coffee and fresh made toast slathered with butter does that as well but that is another story! 😉 ).

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