Smoked Mackerel and Roast Veg Salad with a Hot Miso Dressing

Jonny & I hit up the Ashburton Food Festival over the weekend (has anyone been? It’s a great annual gathering for foodies in the South West) and I picked up some smoked mackerel. Dang I love that stuff.Hot Miso Mackerel Salad

I also bought some sunny yellow courgettes, some fresh Brussels sprouts (Yay, new season!) and a really pretty long, lilac aubergine. Of course I forgot to take photos of the prettiness before cooking and the colour leaked out of the aubergine and it turned kinda brown :(  Hot Miso Mackerel SaladHowever, prettiness aside, my haul came together to form this lovely light lunch. A real autumnal dish that leaves you feeling content and well nourished. Oh, and that miso dressing is a keeper, in fact I think I need to make another batch to keep in the fridge.Hot Miso Mackerel Salad

Anyone else seeing the weird face in that last pic? Once I saw it, I couldn’t ‘unsee’ it!

Hot Miso Mackerel Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2


  • 2 smoked mackerel fillets, skin & bones removed.
  • Roast Veggies
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 or 4 young courgettes
  • 1 small aubergine
  • 5 or 6 Brussels sprouts
  • Miso Dressing
  • 4 teaspoons oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon miso
  • 3 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 level teaspoon sugar
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Enough fresh red chilli to please your taste-buds, chopped
  • Extra coriander and red chilli to sprinkle on top of the finished dish.


  1. Slice the courgettes and aubergine into long fingers, about 3/4-1 inch thick. Quarter the sprouts lengthways and pop them all into a baking tray along with the oil, making sure they are well coated.
  2. Roast for around 20 minutes, or until they are cooked through and the sprouts are starting to brown on the edges.
  3. Meanwhile mix all the dressing ingredients together. It will be quite thick, if you want it thinner to drizzle on a regular salad add more oil until it is as thin as you like.
  4. When the veggies are ready, pour the miso dressing into the hot pan and toss the veggies in it to get them all covered.
  5. Divide the veggies between 2 plates, top with the mackerel that you've flaked into bite size chunks, then pour over any of the dressing left in the pan.
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Frozen Dark Rum Mojito Cocktail Lolly

Just before the warm weather takes its annual leave of absence, I want to sneak in this cheeky little Frozen Dark Rum Mojito Cocktail lolly.

Froze Dark Mojito Cocktail Lolly - The HedgecombersWith all the components of a zingy Mojito it is refreshing and decadent, as all good lollies should be, and the flavours really pop.

If the sun is still shining for you, I hope you get a chance to indulge!

Frozen Dark Rum Mojito’s

Yield: 2


  • 2 teaspoons Muscavado or other brown sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • 1 shot of dark rum
  • Soda water


  1. In a jug or glass, squash the sugar, lime juice and mint leaves together for a couple of minutes with the back of a spoon to extract the essential oils from the mint and dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the shot of rum and mix well.
  3. Pour into 2 ice lolly moulds, then top them up with soda water and freeze.
  4. You can add some shredded mint leaves to each mould if you fancy
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Samsung Food Showcase Fridge Freezer Review

Never has a review been timed more perfectly. Our hand-me-down fridge freezer was dying a slow and painful death & every week we were having to throw food away long before the best before date.

Samsung Food ShowCase Fridge Freezer Review

Enter stage left the fridge of my dreams, the Samsung Food ShowCase Fridge Freezer. Tall, dark and terribly handsome with enough room to store all my foodie projects, and more.

We’ve had to rearrange our kitchen as it’s twice the size of our old one so do excuse the gap & tangle of wires above. Delivery was hairy as this fridge is huge. It was touch and go when the guys delivered it whether we’d actually get it in the house, but once they’d removed the (fridge) doors it was easy. Phew! They got it in just the right spot, popped the doors back on and even plugged it in. Within 2 hours of being switched on, both the fridge & freezer were at temperature and I could load them up.Samsung ShowCase Fridge Freezer Review

On the left is the freezer which has tonnes of storage. Whilst the shelves are deep it doesn’t feel like things will get lost for years at a time because there’s lots of storage in the doors and the drawers at the bottom for smaller items.

Samsung ShowCase Fridge Freezer Review

Having specific areas areas for meat, fruit/veg, stock and home-made ready meals is wonderful and will save so much time trying to find things.Samsung ShowCase Fridge Freezer Review

And on the right is the massive fridge.

We have never been particularly organised with our fresh food storage. Apart from the safety rules of storing raw meats at the bottom of the fridge we tended to chuck things in wherever they would fit. Now we have plenty of space to spread things out and I can foresee much less food wastage due to food getting lost under or behind other things.Samsung ShowCase Fridge Freezer Review

Jonny has his own dedicated drawer in the fridge and in the freezer where he can stockpile all his lactose stuffed items without losing site of them. And I have a drawer in the freezer for storing my favourite seafoods so they’re within easy reach to grab and defrost for a quick lunch.

The doors to the fridge are very cleverly designed. Open the thin metal first door…Samsung ShowCase Fridge Freezer Review

and you have access to deep shelves where it’s recommended you keep your most commonly used items. Then open the second door…Samsung ShowCase Fridge Freezer Reviewwhich sounds confusing but it’s actually the shelves that you’re opening, and you are faced with a huge area for larger and less frequently used items. So smart.Samsung ShowCase Fridge Freezer Review If my explanation leaves you confused, go and watch the video on the Samsung site, it’ll explain it far better than I ever can!

Samsung ShowCase Fridge Freezer ReviewI really like the option of folding this middle shelf out of the way to fit in taller items, such as this bottle of soda water too. Obviously bottles can lie flat, but I’m thinking it’ll be useful for my tall jugs that I’ve never actually been able to fit in a fridge without taking shelves out. I can just imagine how useful all this well designed space will be come Christmas.

Samsung ShowCase Fridge Freezer Review

It also comes with a very fancy ice (cubed or crushed Madam?) & drink dispenser which we need to connect the fridge to the mains water supply before we can use it.

Samsung ShowCase Fridge/Freezer Review

It’s early days, and I will be back with a follow up on how it’s working out for us soon, but from what I’ve seen so far, I’m delighted at the design of the Samsung ShowCase and can’t wait to do my next food shop!

Huge thanks to Samsung for providing us with the Food ShowCase to review, it’s been an absolute godsend! As always all opinions are my own. Janie x

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Tea Time Treats ~ September 2014

Happy September :) Here’s hoping your summers have all been fab and filled with lots of fun & great food.Teatime Treat Linky Party logo

I’d love to know if you’ve had any major foodie breakthroughs this summer ~ have you learnt to cook something, tried a new ingredient or mastered a skill that always seemed beyond you this summer? Please tell all in the comments below ;)

Over the past few weeks I’ve been racing round the South West researching and photographing the best spots to eat for a guide book that’s coming out at the end of the year, and it doesn’t feel like my feet have touched the ground. Sleeping in a tent I’ve been travelling really light, and not even managed any campfire cooking which is my absolutely favourite part of camping. I’ve missed my kitchen and can’t wait to get back to inventing & making a mess :)

And so, on to Septembers theme. It’s the perfect time of year for celebrating all things…


Med collage

Thinks tarts, quiches, salads, paellas, pasta, pulses, seafood… omg I’m getting hungry just thinking about the possibilities! Please put on your thinking caps and feel free to dig out some recipes from your archives or let your imagination run wild with new dishes to cook for your family.

As always, I can’t wait to see what you all come up with :)

Please take a moment to read the rules and guidelines below and do not hesitate to contact us if you need to know more about this event and how to participate.

See you along the way

Janie x


The small print…

1. Post your recipe on your blog with a link to Lavender and Lovage and The Hedgecombers – mention the relevant month’s host and attach the Tea Time Treats logo as shown on the event page.

2. Add Tea Time Treats in your blog post as a label/tag.

3. The recipe can be one of your own or one you’ve seen elsewhere.  You are welcome to republish old recipes/posts but please add the information about this challenge.

4. Please be as creative with the theme as you like.

5. If you share your post on twitter please mention @KarenBurnsBooth @Hedgecomber and #TeaTimeTreats in your message and we will retweet all those we see.

6. You do not need to enter every month to join in with the challenge.

7. Your post can be submitted for other blogging challenges, just make sure this complies with the rules of the other challenge.

8. Add your recipe link to the live linky posted at the bottom of every challenge post.

9. If using a recipe from another person, book, website, chef or blog, you must link back to the original recipe and not reproduce the recipe in full in your post. You must also use your OWN images for the recipe and not the original images, unless you have permission to do so, with appropriate links and any other information requested by the photo’s owner added to the image.

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The Royal Barley Water Recipe

I have a bit of a thing for old cookbooks. I love all the penny pinching ones from the 1970’s with their lurid pictures and heavy use of aspic, but my true love is anything older than 1950.Royal Barley Water Recipe - The Hedgecombers Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily cook a three course meal directly from one (the English weren’t renowned for their culinary skills in times of old) they are a fascinating insight into where many of our kitchen habits come from.

Of course, the true value for me of pre 1950 cookbooks is in growing my own animals for meat. I have found all kinds of odd recipes that use all kinds of odd cuts and bits of meat. Bits that are thrown away today or at best fed to the dogs.Royal Barley Water Recipe - The Hedgecombers

One day, one of these old cookbooks pages were opened and out fluttered this little scrap of newspaper boasting the recipe for Royal Barley Water as made in the Queen’s kitchen.

Someone, somewhen had ripped it out and stuffed inside this cookbook for me to find. How could I refuse such an invite?

It has been many years since I tasted barley water made from concentrate, so it’s hard to tell you how it tastes in comparison. It feels nourishing along with being tasty, and as you get to sweeten it to your taste, you can make it just how you like it.

The Royal Barley Water Recipe


  • 1 teacup pearl barley
  • 4 pints boiling water
  • 2 lemons
  • 6 oranges
  • Demerara sugar to taste


  1. Put barley in a large sauce pan, add boiling water, simmer over a low heat with the lid on for one hour.
  2. Strain water from the barley, adding the rind of one lemon and three oranges.
  3. Allow to stand until cold.
  4. Strain off the rinds and add the orange and lemon juice.
  5. Keep in a refridgerator.
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