Mackerel, pear and spelt salad with spinach and horseradish dressing

This hearty salad with mackerel, soft pear and vibrant beetroot is packed with flavour. The nutty pearled spelt makes this dish wholesome and nutritious, perfect for a robust lunch or healthy dinner.

In this recipe I pan-fry fresh mackerel fillets in a griddle pan, but you could also by ready-prepared smoked mackerel fillets to flake into the salad. Equally, if you can't get your hands on fresh horseradish root (pictured below) you can purchase horseradish cream to mix with natural yogurt for the dressing.


  • 200g pearled spelt

  • 4 tbsp lemon juice

  • 3 tsbp olive oil

  • 2 sustainably-sourced mackerel fillets

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 1/2 bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped

  • salt

  • pepper

  • cooked beetroot 125g, diced

  • 1 English pear , cut into matchsticks and tossed in lemon juice

  • 1/2 bag of baby spinach

  • dried chilli flakes a pinch (optional)

  • 2 tbsp natural yogurt

  • 2 tsp fresh horseradish, grated


  • Rinse the spelt and cook in boilng salted water for 25 minutes or until tender, then drain well and cool. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsp olive oil, mix well and set aside.

  • To make the dressing, stir ½ the dill and all the horseradish into the yogurt, with a good pinch of salt. Add 2-3 tbsp cold water and stir until a drizzle-able consistency.

  • Place the mackerel fillets in a pyrex dish or bowl skin side down, rub with salt and pepper on each side and drizzle with the olive oil and 1/2 the lemon juice. Rub the flesh of each fillet with the crushed garlic and 1/2 the chopped dill.

  • Heat a griddle pan on a high heat, once hot add the mackerel fillets skin side down and cook for 4 minutes until crispy, turn over and cook for 1 minute on the other side. Turn off the heat and leave the fish to continue cooking in the pan's residual heat. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Once cool, use your fingers to pull the flesh apart into flakes ready for adding to the salad.

  • Add the spelt to a large bowl, along with the beetroot, mackerel pieces, spinach leaves and pear matchsticks, add the chili flakes and drizzle over the dressing. Sprinkle with the remaining dill to finish.

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