Herb-grilled herring with apple, kale and purple potato salad

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Herring 2308



  • 8 small or 4 large herrings
  • 4-8 sprigs rosemary
  • 4-8 small sprigs young bay leaves
  • 4-8 slices lemon

For the salad

  • 2tsp golden mustard seeds
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 200ml oil, for frying
  • 4 purple potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin, then steeped in cold water for 10 minutes and patted dry
  • 100g curly kale, tough stalks removed
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored
  • 5g chives, roughly chopped

For the soft herring roe butter

  • 5 soft roes
  • 80g salted butter, cubed
  • 1⁄2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4tsp cayenne or 1⁄2tsp hot paprika


Dry-fry the mustard seeds until they pop and, when cool, grind them slightly to simply break down a little. Add 1tsp of sea salt flakes and set aside in a small bowl.

Put the Dijon mustard and white balsamic vinegar in a tight-lidded screw-top jar. Season well and shake well. Add the olive oil one-third at a time and shake after each addition to emulsify. Set aside, until serving.

Rub any scales from the herrings under a cold tap. Remove the head and slit the belly to remove the innards. Save the soft roes to make soft herring roe butter (see recipe, left). Lay the fish belly-side down and push down on the backbone with the heel of your hand, moving downwards towards the tail end, and lift out the backbone, snipping it off at the tail, leaving it in place. Rinse in cold water and gently pat dry. Remove as many stray pin bones as possible with tweezers.

Season the cavities of the fish and place the rosemary, bay and lemon slices in the cavities. Secure the belly with wooden cocktail sticks and set aside. Lay the fish on a foil-lined baking tray and spoon over a little oil to prevent them from sticking.

Heat the oil for frying in a large wok or deep pan. Fry the purple potato slices, carefully stirring to keep them turning so they crisp up nice and evenly.

Break the kale into bite-sized pieces and put in a salad bowl. Pour over the dressing to coat the kale. Slice the apple into thin wedges and then pile a few up and cut into 3 fan shapes. Add to the kale with the chives and toss the salad well.

Heat the grill to high and put a shelf around 20cm from the heat. Grill the fish for approximately 9 minutes, turning carefully once. Cover any parts that begin to char with foil.

Add the crisps to the top of the salad and fold through at the last minute, before serving alongside the fish. Finish with a sprinkle of the mustard-seed seasoning.

Soft herring roe butter

Heat half of the butter with the oil and fry the roes for around 1 minute until just cooked. Put in a mini processor with the rest of the butter, cayenne and a few sea salt flakes. Purée and pass through a sieve into a bowl. Put in a jar or small bowl and store in the fridge for no longer than 2 days. Serve on hot toast.

Herring 2308


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