Herring in oatmeal
with a fresh spring salad
The future of health is about a return to the past... or is it? Sometime I wonder this only in the sense that we must reunite with more traditional eating patterns of our grandparents and great grandparents in the battle against chronic lifestyle related disease. But to battle against modern life is probably the wrong approach. After visiting my family in Scotland for Easter, I was inspired to recreate some traditional Scottish recipes that I grew up with. So I thought I’d start with herring in oatmeal - tasty & nourishing dish using my favourite oats and an affordable but tasty fish. In the early 19th century, coastal communities in Scotland discovered enormous shoals of "silver darlings", or herring in fishy abundance. Seaside communities prospered because of this marine bounty. The humble herring became known as the food of the poor over the years. But rich in omega3 & with the gutsy flavours of fresh sardines but lots more juicy flesh, herring is a highly nutritious choice. A resilient species and with modified fishing practices in place, it is now a sustainable choice, often caught with minimum bycatch & little damage to the seabed.
For me spring is rejuvenating, a time to refresh mealtimes with all the wonderful fresh produce of the new season. I’ve combined the herring with some of my favourite seasonal produce, mixing it up a little from my original Instagram post. April, May & June see the welcome return of jersey royals, alongside peppery watercress and crunchy radishes. So I’ve paired the herring with this fresh spring salad topped with a delicious dressing to improve bioavailability of the ingredients.
6 herring fillets
2 handfuls of oatmeal
2 lemons, juiced & zested
200g jersey royal potatoes
1 bag of Watercress
A handful of radishes
1 egg whisked
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
A dash of apple cider vinegar
1/4 of a cucumber thickly sliced, seeds scooped out
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Boil Jersey Royals in salted water until tender
Slice radishes, cucumber & roughly chop watercress
Whisk EVOO, apple cider vinegar, mustard and lemon juice to make the dressing
Combine potatoes, radishes, cucumber and watercress then toss in dressing
Sprinkle oatmeal on a plate, add lemon zest & season.
Dip fillets into whisked egg then roll & press into seasoned oatmeal until completely covered.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add coated herring fillets to the pan, skin-side up. Gently press down on each fillet so that they stay flat. Fry for 1-2 mins, then turn for a further 1-2 mins until cooked through & oats are golden brown.
Serve & enjoy