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Our May winning reader recipe - smoked mackerel salad

by Sarah Alcock

Serves: 4

We featured pictures of three of the magazine team's own recipe creations on the Chat Room page in the May issue and asked you to vote here on the blog for your favourite dish. It was pretty close, but the winner is editor Helena's smoked mackerel, aubergine and lentil salad – the perfect lunch for a sunny day.

What do you like to eat for lunch on a summer's day? Tell us in the comments box below.

If you'd like the chance to have your recipe featured on our blog, email a picture of your homemade dish to

Smoked mackerel, aubergine and lentil salad


  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 x 400g tins Puy lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tbsp natural yogurt
  • juice of one large lemon
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g smoked mackerel, skin removed, flaked into large pieces
  • 150g cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


  1. Chop the aubergine into 2cm pieces and toss in the ground cumin.
  2. Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan and cook the aubergine for 10-12 minutes on a low heat until very tender.
  3. Meanwhile, tip the lentils into a medium-sized pan and warm them through over a low heat, adding a splash of water if they start to stick.
  4. Mix the yogurt with 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and set aside.
  5. Whisk the remaining lemon juice with the crushed garlic, the rest of the olive oil and plenty of black pepper. Stir this into the warmed lentils together with the mackerel, tomatoes and parsley.
  6. Check the seasoning, then serve immediately with the lemony yogurt on the side.


If you have time, cooking your own lentils will make this dish extra delicious. Put 250g dried lentils in a pan with three times their volume of vegetable stock and a bruised garlic clove. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, discard the garlic and use immediately.

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