This is a fantastic salad with many flavors and textures.  I used apple balsamic vinegar from Llewellyn’s Orchard in Lusk and Derrycamma cold-pressed rapeseed oil from Co. Louth. The apple balsamic has an wonderful sweet-tart flavor that works great with the pecans and mackerel and the rapeseed oil is light and nutty. If you don’t like mackerel any smoked fish would be great, and if you don’t like smoked fish then use crumbled blue cheese instead (plus a few strips of crisp bacon…).  Toss in some Belgian endives if you can find them; their bitter-sweet flavor and crunch add another dimension to an already intriguing and delicious salad.

Spicy Greens and Red-cabbage Salad with Smoked Mackerel and Apples

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Meal type Salad


  • 1 1/4 cup pecans
  • 4 fillets smoked mackerel
  • 400g spinach, watercress and rocket mix
  • 400 g red cabbage
  • 2 Pink Lady apples
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


1. Toast the pecans in a 350F/180C oven for about 8 minutes.
2. Remove the skin from each mackerel fillet and break into 2-cm chucks. Remove any bones that remain.
3. In a large bowl combine the mackerel with the pecans, greens, cabbage, apples, onion and parsley. Add the vinaigrette and toss.
4. In a small bowl whisk the vinegar, mustard, sherry, salt and pepper. Add the oil slowly, whisking.


  • Substitute blue cheese for the mackerel
  • If you can find them add three heads Belgian endive, cut crosswise into 2-cm pieces
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3 Responses to Quick from Scratch: Spicy Greens and Red-cabbage Salad with Smoked Mackerel and Apples

  1. I imagine feta cheese would be good in this too. I bought some feta with basil ans sundried tomatoes and it was delicious in a mixed green salad with blueberries and slivered almonds. :)

  2. Sharon says:

    The cabbage is great in this, and an important component!

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