Today’s been a very special day for many people: most importantly it marks the end of Ramadan for Muslims, who today celebrate Eid, the breaking of the fast. Fasting is always a stark reminder of how lucky you are – whether you fast for secular or religious reasons, during Ramadan or Lent, the fact that you can choose to do without food or other luxuries sets you apart from many who have that choice made for them. Expressing gratitude for your blessings and sharing what you have amongst your fellow human beings are central to Ramadan and Eid, making it such an important celebration within the Muslim world.
Today has also been my last day at work, with school breaking up for the summer we all counted our blessings, too, in form of yet un-filed assessment papers and thank-you cards. Saying goodbyes to students and colleagues alike, and looking forward to the weeks ahead, secretly hoping for a heatwave. Or just a little less rain than usual.
My thanksgiving feast, therefore, attempts to celebrate friendship and community with a Turkish-inspired dish that easily pleases a crowd. It takes less than ten minutes to prepare, around 35 minutes to roast, and it will be eaten in no time at all. As for the veg, use whatever you have and what you like: the following amounts reflect what we had in our fridge rather than centuries of recipe-development!
Oven-Roasted Mackerels (serves 3)
- 6 tbs olive oil
- 3 mackerels, gutted and washed
- 2-3 potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 4-5 spring onions or scallions, cut into thick slices
- 1 lemon, sliced
- salt and coarsely ground pepper
- some flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
Heat the oven to 200C/400F. Drizzle half the olive oil on a large baking tray, then spread the vegetables evenly over the surface. Place the fish on top, decorate with the lemon slices and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
Serve with some Turkish-style flatbread on the side – trust me, this dish doesn’t need much else.
You can always follow it up with some deliciously sweet baklava – don’t worry, I’ll bring you the recipe once I’ve finished eating …
Have a wonderful Eid!