A sustainable nudge over mackerel with avocado and pomegranate salsa

If I say sustanibility what does that make you think of? Me, having food on my mind most times, will always connect it with food, or perhaps more correctly, where the food I am eating is coming from. Before starting I want to say that of course I sometimes buy convenience food but when I have the time and opportunity I buy most of my meat from The Black Pig Butchers. All of their meat can be traced to the farm where they were raised, it is all free range and organic as stated on their website. I buy most of my fish from the local fishermens cooperative, there is an active fishing fleet on the beach where we live. I haven’t thought about it but if we all take a little time, perhaps only for weekend meals, to go and buy local, organic ingredients we all help our planet and every little helps.


I recently recieved an invite from the Norwegian Seafood Council to a very interesting seminar “How can green solutions be good for business” I couldn’t make the full day but went for the afternoon. It was very interesting and there were some facts that sadly didn’t surprise me.


  • 30% of the food that the world produces is wasted along the way.
  • Every day about 800m people go to bed hungry and 2 bn of us wake up overweight.

Source the EAT Forum, Dr Gunhild A. Stordalen. The EAT Forum is an international consortium that collectively address the issues of food, health and sustainability across the fields of academia, business, politics and civil society to ultimately be able to feed 9 billion healthy people within safe planetary boundaries.

  • There was a lot of talk about the sea. 70% of our planet is covered in water but only 2% of what we eat comes from the sea.
  • If Norwegian cod and salmon were replaced with red meat, the carbon footprint would increase by 31 million tonnes of CO2

Source Solveig van Nes from the Bellona Foundationan independent non-profit organization that aims to meet and fight the climate challenges, through identifying and implementing sustainable environmental solutions.


The impact that the food eco system today has on us and the enviromental consequences creates a massive challenge demanding a truly global view, breaking down silos between not only organisations but nations as well.This is what was discussed and there was a strong drive to nudge consumers in the right direction to start the change in behaviour.

Attending the conference and listening made me think of what I can do on an individual level, what we can all do if we give it an extra thought when we get our ingredients. I will come back to this in another blog and meanwhile I have created a recipe with sustainable mackerel. You can find the latest list of sustainable fish on the MCS website.


The recipe demands some pre planning but the cooking time is minimal, if you get the fishmonger to fillet your mackerel it will be even faster, and it is worth the time. I froze the fish to make sure all the bacteria had gone, we always do it when making gravlax in Sweden.


Mackerel on avocado and pommegranate salsa

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 24 hours for freezing, a few hours for salting and about a minute for pan frying 

serves 4 as a starter 


  • 1 mackerel
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • oil and a knob of butter for pan frying

The avocado and pommegranate salsa 

  • 1 avocado
  • pomegranate seeds from 1/4 pomegranate
  • 2 firm tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 red chilli
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pepper to taste

The fishmonger guted the fish and I filleted it. Once it was filleted I skinned it and removed the bones with a tweezer. I cut a diamond pattern on top of the mackerel and placed it in the freezer for 24 hours. You can see what fillet I did first! Lucikly I had bought two mackerels.




I de-frosted the mackerel in the fridge overnight and did a light cure of salt and sugar in the morning. I placed it on a plate covered with cling film and left it in the fridge for a few hours.


I prepared the salsa a couple of hours before serving for the flavours to have time to mingle. Peel and cut the avocado, I wanted a chunky salsa with avocado pieces rather than mashed. I sliced the chilli, crushed the garlic clove, cut the tomato up, chopped the parsley and mixed everything with the juice of a lemon and the olive oil. Taste with pepper and leave in the fridge. Take the salsa out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving so it isn’t “fridge” cold.


Just before serving heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. Rinse the mackerel fillets and pat them dry. Cut them in to pieces and place them in the hot pan. Turn the heat off and leave the mackerel in the pan for a minute before removing the fish. Plate up the salsa and add the mackerel on top just before serving.




If we eat more food from the sea, together we can make an impact, small to start with but it is a nudge in the right direction and hopefully it can be a good starting point. Next time you are reaching for the meat, why not get some fish? Just make sure it has a sustanability label and of course that it is fresh, if it looks slimey or smells “fishy” don’t buy it.


I am bringing a plate of mackerel to the always lovely Angie’s party, Fiesta Friday. Angie is the best hostess you will ever meet and her blog The Novice Gardener is a constant source of inspiration.  This week she has two wonderful co hosts, Juju, Cooking with a Juju and Indira, I’ll Cook You wash. Clever Judi made me laugh with her brilliant witches fingers, they look absolutely amazing please head over to her blog and have a look! Indira had a super warming winter warmer, Peanut butter hot chocolate, it sounds like a delicious heart warming sin in a cup!

I have also liked this to Recipe of the week, hosted by Emily Leary, A Mummy Too. She has baked some truly inspirational goods with pumpkin!

Come and join us if you have cooked something or just hang out and get inspired! 🙂









12 Responses to “A sustainable nudge over mackerel with avocado and pomegranate salsa”
  1. Wonderful post, Petra. It’s sad to think of the all the hungry bellies in a world where so much food goes to waste. I’m completely with you about knowing where your food comes from and buying organic, sustainable good as much as possible. Your mackerel looks and sounds delicious 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Natalie
      Thank you so much! I didn’t know it was as much as 30% of food wasted and it is a broken system when others have to go hungry. There is more fish on the menu for sure and if lots of us help a little it will go a long way!
      The mackerel was so easy to make, it just took a bit of planning but well worth making!
      Have a great weekend 🙂

  2. Keith Trawick says:

    Sustainable??? Who knows….it’s cool…it’s a threat….an observation….in terms of food…lol…I think it means affordable….which is why I am partial to whiting…lol..The Black Pig!! Yay!! I’m thinking about commissioning some American style kielbasa….I’ve tried getting the Polish online…but it’s smoked and not the same thing…but…I know when I approach the Black Pig…my plan may not be affordable…ah….sustainable…lol

    • petra08 says:

      hi Keith
      Well, The Black Pig prices depends on what cut you buy and oh the flavour you get! I am a believer that you can eat organic and sustainable of you just know how to cook a little! American style kielbasa sounds great, let me know how it goes! 🙂

  3. Ann Arbor, where I live, is very much into organic, homegrown, buy from the local farmer. I do as much as possible and feel it is worth the extra money. I love fish of all kinds because it is so good and easy to prepare. Thanks for sharing this wonderful fish dinner with us Petra 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Judi
      It sounds like a lovely place to live!Iagree it is worth the extra money and I would rather eat slightly less of the protein.
      Am so glad you like it. I hope you are having a great weekend! 🙂

  4. It saddens me to think about the hungry people in this world and the food waste. The world ecology is something that we should all be concerned with too. Your dish is a work of art. I just love the avocado pomegranate salsa. Delicious and beautiful!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Julie

      I agree, the balance of the food echo system is not right and it is very sad. The task of working with this is so big but also so interesting!
      Am glad you like the mackerel, I still can’t figure out why I don’t eat more fish, I guess it will start this week 🙂 x

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this, Petra! It’s such a great idea to write about sustainability and food wastage because these are huge issues (especially for food bloggers like us) that tend to get pushed into the background. I love the recipe, and loved learning a little bit more. And yes, I agree that we can all do our part. Happy FF!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Indira

      Sustainibility is so important and I agree we don’t touch on the subject enough. I have some ideas about this and will come back to that to see what we can do.
      Glad you like the recipe, I love mackerel and was just thinking I should buy some more and put in the freezer. Saying that the herring season just started, more seafood coming!
      I hope you had a good weekend and Happy FF! 🙂

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