Fish cakes are ideal for using up bits and bobs. Feel free to change the herbs, or use chopped kale or cauliflower in place of broccoli. The smoked mackerel gives a rich flavour and beautiful texture, but be careful not to overwork the mixture.
1 tbsp mild olive oil, plus extra to fry
40g butter, plus extra to fry
1 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ head broccoli, including the stalk (275g)
2 tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp sage leaves, finely chopped
300g pack British smoked mackerel fillets, skinned
500g mashed potato (leftover or freshly cooked)
1 large free-range egg, beaten
100g feta, crumbled
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
50g plain flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges
Mixed leaf salad
1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large non–stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
2. While the onion is cooking, break off the florets from the broccoli stem and thinly slice them; set aside. Cut the stalk in half lengthways and then slice it quite thinly.
3. Add the sliced broccoli stalk to the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes, then add the sliced florets, along with the herbs. Cook for a few minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, flake the smoked mackerel, checking for pin bones and discarding any dark grey flesh. Put the flaked mackerel into a bowl and add the mashed potato, egg, feta and lemon zest, along with the cooled broccoli mixture and plenty of salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands.
5. Divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape into patties. Place on a tray in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, to firm up. (You can make them ahead to this point; keep in the fridge, ready to cook.) Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
6. Dust the fish cakes lightly with flour on both sides. Place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and add 1–2 tbsp oil and a knob of butter. When hot, add 4 fish cakes and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side until golden then transfer to a baking tray. Repeat to cook the remaining fish cakes. Pop the tray into the oven for 10 minutes or so to ensure the fish cakes are warmed through.
7. Serve the fish cakes with lemon wedges and a leafy salad.