Cured mackerel, nasturtium, coconut and rhubarb

Cured mackerel, nasturtium, coconut and rhubarb

Mr Wilkinson's Simply Dressed Salads
Jacqui Melville

This is a dish from the night-time menu at Pope Joan. I truly love it, and its inspiration comes from a dinner my good friend Mads Refslund and I did years ago. It sounds a little strange, but hey, so are Mads and me…


Quantity Ingredient
5 organic rhubarb stalks
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 lemons, juiced
1 young coconut
1 slimy mackerel, skin on, filleted and pin-boned, then cut in half lengthways, (if unavailable, try bonito or a small kingfish fillet)
2 burrata, (see glossary)
or 250g goat’s curd
3 radishes, trimmed and cut into thin matchsticks
12 nasturtium leaves, washed
8 nasturtium flowers
1/2 teaspoon otway forest dried shiitake mushroom salt
or 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, ground in a spice blender with 2 tablespoons sea salt


  1. Wash and finely chop the rhubarb, then place in a small pot with the sugar and half the lemon juice. Stew gently over a medium heat until all broken down, about 12–16 minutes, keeping a close eye on the rhubarb and stirring all the time. Take off the heat to cool. This is a lovely way to stew rhubarb, like me Nan used to do. It makes quite a bit, but keep it in the fridge for up to 1 week and have it for ya breakfast.
  2. Take the young coconut and smash it open, reserving the juice. Then gently scrape out the flesh using a teaspoon. Give the coconut a little wash in the juice, then discard the juice.
  3. When ready to serve, sprinkle the mackerel with the remaining lemon juice and let sit for 2–3 minutes to absorb. Slice each fillet into five pieces. If you have a kitchen blowtorch handy, use it to crisp up the skin of the mackerel; otherwise just serve it raw.
  4. Tear the burrata over each serving plate. Dollop the rhubarb around the plate, add the mackerel, then lay pieces of coconut and radish around. Scatter with the nasturtium leaves and flowers, then season plentifully with the mushroom salt.
  5. Great with a riesling or a chardonnay.
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