Herring with beetroot and raspberry vinegar

I quite often get the question where I get my inspiration to cook, especially to try new foods/dishes. Like all of us I do get stuck cooking the same dish time and time again until the next new favourite comes along but I always try to make an effort to try new things.

Following the seasons is a great way to vary the diet and here the herring season just started. The herrings are plentiful, cheap, large and absolutely delicious. Friends were arriving and I thought super fresh herring would make a great starter. I saw a picture of a dish, it was beetroots, fish and raspberry vinegar and thought it looked beautiful. I can’t find the image again and don’t remember what fish it was but decided to re create it with what I had avaliable. I bought some raspberry vinegar at a market this summer and I have to admit it has been sitting in my cupboard ever since, what a perfect time to get it out.

I bought the herrings whole and took them home to be scaled, filleted and salted for a few hours before serving. The bones are so tiny I cut away the most obvious ones but left the rest.


Herring with beetroot and raspberry vinegar

preparation time 5-10 minutes

cooking time 3-4 minutes

serves 4 as a starter


  • 4 large herrings, scaled, filleted and salted
  • 1/2 medium sized cooked beetroot/pp
  • 2 tbsp raspberry vinegar
  • 2 shallot onions
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • sesame seeds
  • oil and a small knob of butter for cooking

Rinse the salted herring. I am sure mackerel would work just as well and then one fillet per person.

Make shallow cuts actoss the skin side of the fish, pat dry and set aside until you are about to serve. Pan fry the shallot onion until golden brown on the cut side. Remove from the pan and set aside until you are ready to serve.




Slice the beetroot thinly and arrange on a plate. Remove the skin from the onion. Heat oil and butter in a pan, hold the fillet skin side down for the first seconds and it won’t curl up and pan fry until cooked about half way through, just a couple of minutes. Then turn the fish and turn the heat off. Let stand for another minute and plate up with the beetroot. Add the shallot onion, raspberry vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle the beetroot with sea salt and sesame seeds before serving. I picked the last of the marigolds and added them as well.






It was a perfect starter and a great way to serve the humble herring. I did forget the roe that I had saved but it will be nice lightly pan fried on toast later.

The beetroot and raspberry vinegar worked so well with the herring and what a dish. I am so sorry I can’t credit the original creator of this dish. It was so simple and the flavours so wonderful together. I think I will stock up on herrings and can’t wait to cook this again!


I am bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday. Hosted by the lovely Angie, The Novice Gardener. If you have cooked or just want some inspiration come and join  us!





15 Responses to “Herring with beetroot and raspberry vinegar”
  1. Kaila says:

    I enjoyed learning a bit more about herring, and your dish sounds tasty. The presentation is beautiful as well. Happy FF, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 😀

    • petra08 says:

      Hi Kaila
      Thank you! Herring is a lovely fish and I thought it deserved centre stage 🙂 It was a great weekend, quite chilled out and I hope you had a great Halloween! 🙂

  2. Liz says:

    Very pretty presentation! It looks like sushi.

  3. Ginger says:

    Beautiful! I wish I had half your imagination, Petra! Btw where do you buy your herrings from?

    • petra08 says:

      hi Steffi
      You do have lots of imagination and cook the most lovely dishes and just looking at them always makes me hungry!
      There is a small fleet of fishermen who works from the beach here. They sell their fish either direct or through a cooperative and when the herring is plentiful they sell 4 for £1! It is such a treat! 🙂

      • Ginger says:

        How lucky you are! And to think how close you and your fishermen are .. makes me wonder … 😉
        I have to take notes about the way you plate things!

  4. Loretta says:

    Wow, this dish is art on a plate Petra. Just gorgeous! I love smoked herring, I’m sure I’d love your beautiful flavors in the herring too. Lovely 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Loretta
      Am glad you like it!
      I love smoked herring too, the fresh one is milder in flavour and they are so delicious. I think I will get a bunch to fillet and just keep in the freezer and I probably should smoke some as well! What a great idea 🙂

  5. Angie says:

    You make such pretty dishes. Enough to make me want to eat herring 😀 Seriously, now I want fish! Which doesn’t happen very often.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Angie
      Thank you! I am so pleased you like it and that I can tempt you! I love fish, as long as it is fresh but saying that I do love pickled herring as well! 🙂 x

      • Angie says:

        I don’t think I’ve ever had pickled herring, not sure. I did try some kind of pickled or marinated raw small fish in Italy. Not a fan, lol! But I do love anything pickled, normally. I’m trying to add more fish in my diet. So far I’m enjoying them fried or grilled.

        • petra08 says:

          I think my love for pickled herring comes from being Swedish! There is just no escaping it there. Fried or grilled is delicious as well! I eat much more fish now when I can buy it really fresh, even in London it was hard to get really fresh fish but saying that I love meat as well! 🙂

  6. We don’t get fresh herring here, but the local fishmonger does sell pickled herring. I should have guessed what those yellow petals were as I use them for garnishing and in salads. I grow the tangerine and lemon so I always have tons of flowers 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      Hi Judi
      I like pickled herring as well but the fresh is a treat as it is very seasonal. It isn’t sustainable everywhere so we are lucky!
      I love edible flowers, next year I am aiming to have an edible flower bed! There is a bit of a tug of war here sometimes with slightly limited amount of space regarding what to grow! 🙂

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