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Mackerel with gooseberries and mint salsa

This lovely, fresh-tasting salsa is best made with tart, firm, early- season gooseberries – the kind you’re likely to find in June – rather than the sweeter, softer fruit of late July. As well as mackerel, the salsa is great with other robust or oily fish, such as bream, sardines and trout – particularly when the fish has been cooked on a barbecue.


1. To make the salsa, slice the gooseberries thickly and put them into a bowl. Add the cider vinegar, sugar and some salt and pepper, mix well, then cover and leave to macerate for at least an hour. Stir in the mint, taste and add a little more salt, pepper or sugar if you like, then it’s ready to serve.

2. If you’re barbecuing the fish, first make sure that your barbecue is good and hot, and that the flames have died down to leave glowing coals covered in a layer of white ash. Brush or rub the mackerel with a little oil, then season them inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the herbs, if you’re using them, inside the fish.

3. Lay the mackerel on the hot barbecue and cook, without moving, for 2–3 minutes. Turn the fish over and barbecue for another 2–3 minutes or until the flesh is cooked through. Alternatively, you can cook the mackerel under a hot grill. Serve straight away, with the gooseberry and mint salsa.

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4 medium line- caught mackerel, gutted and cleaned

A little olive, rapeseed or sunflower oil

A few bay leaves and/ or sprigs of thyme (optional)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salsa

150g tart gooseberries, topped and tailed

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon caster sugar

About 1 tablespoon finely shredded mint