Cooking from a Portuguese perspective

Smoked Mackerel and Rocha Pear Salad / Salada de cavala fumada com pera Rocha

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Atlantic mackerel (carapau) is by far the most popular variety of mackerel in Portugal. Its close cousin, the common mackerel (cavala) has been on the sidelines of Portuguese cooking for a number of years but is now enjoying a well deserved revival. Its health benefits together with unique taste and texture make this a prime choice for a fish meal. This recipe combines the strong taste of smoked mackerel with the sweetness of Rocha pears – the uniquely Portuguese pear variety created by the Rocha family in 1836 in Sintra.


4 fillets of smoked mackerel

Mixed leaves

1 rocha pear (thinly sliced)

1 cup of cooked quinoa

3 radishes (finely sliced)

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts 


1 tbsp cider vinegar 

3 tbsp olive oil 

Pinch of dried oregano 

Pinch of salt and pepper

Serves 4 as a light lunch

1. Make the dressing by mixing ingredients in a jar and shaking vigorously.

2. Toss the leaves in the dressing, then mix in the quinoa (cooled), hazelnuts, radishes and pear. Mix well

3. Serve the salad as a bed for the mackerel fillet.

NB: To toast the hazelnuts use a small frying pan over medium hear and swirl for 5-6 minutes until nuts have slightly browned. This adds depth of flavour and an attractive grilled look!

Written by Pedro Rebelo

March 29, 2015 at 2:59 pm

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