Riverford Wicked Leeks
Whole roast mackerel, samphire with chewy garlic and devilled tomatoes recipe image

Print Whole roast mackerel, samphire with chewy garlic and devilled tomatoes

There are three strong and bold components to this meal: salty samphire, rich mackerel, and acid-sweet tomatoes which cut through the oiliness of the fish. This lovely, sea-themed recipe can be cooked in less than an hour.


  • 2 gutted whole mackerel
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 100g samphire
  • 30g butter
  • for the devilling sauce:
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200 ̊C/Gas 6.
  2. Season the mackerel inside and out and cut 3 diagonal slashes on each side, pop a wedge of lemon, a sprig of thyme and the bay leaf inside each cavity. Place in a generous, well oiled roasting dish.
  3. To make to devilling sauce, mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Slice the tomatoes in half and place, face up, around the mackerel in the roasting dish.
  5. Spoon some devilling sauce on to each tomato, and pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the flesh pulls away from the bone.
  6. Meanwhile put the garlic cloves into a small pan of boiling water and simmering for about 10 minutes or until soft to the tip of a knife, remove and cut lengthways in to quarters.
  7. Blanch the samphire in boiling water for 60 seconds, cool in iced water, drain and set aside.
  8. 5 minutes before the fish is done heat the butter with a dash of oil in a pan until it starts to foam. Add the garlic and cook on a medium heat until it starts to brown, the trick is to get a nice crisp, chewy crust without burning it.
  9. When ready add a good squeeze of lemon and toss the samphire with the garlic for a few minutes to reheat. Serve together with the roasting juices spooned over the whole dish.
want to cook with fresh ingredients? try one of our award winning veg boxes