Smoked Mackerel Pâté, served on Bruschetta and ‘Little Gem’ lettuce

Smoked Mackerel Pâté, served on Bruschetta and 'Little Gem' lettuce

Okay, I forgot to buy the ciabatta with sun-dried tomatoes. So, I went with ciabatta with garlic and herbs that was in my cupboard. Equally as delicious. Yet, I do want to try this Smoked Mackerel Pâté with sun-dried tomato ciabatta sliced in half and rubbed with raw garlic, drizzled in olive oil and then toasted under a grill/broiler. Like the real thing should be.

At the moment I seem to have a thing about eating out of lettuce cups, partly as they’re so easy to prep. ‘Little Gem’ is a small variety of romaine lettuce, just in case they’re called something else outside of the UK. I think this sort of recipe is ideal for Hors d’oeuvre, or even as a sit down starter. As I have several more recipes in my archives, of differing pâtés, I’ll hopefully post those at some stage, especially as it’s usually so festive at this time of year. And who can refrain from eating finger food. I just don’t like double-dipping, though!

Smoked Mackerel Pâté, served on Bruschetta and 'Little Gem' lettuce


  • 2 – 3 x rashers streaky bacon
  • 1 x 200g (7.05 oz) pack smoked mackerel with lemon and parsley, only 1 large fish used, about 100g (3.52 oz)
  • 1 x 200g (7.05 oz) carton cream cheese with garlic and herbs, only 2 heaped dessertspoonfuls used
  • 6 x pitted black olives, rinsed and sliced into rings (keep a small handful for decoration)
  • 2 x stems of parsley, washed and snipped, less or more to personal taste
  • 1/2 x lemon, freshly squeezed through a fine sieve
  • black pepper, to personal taste
  • 1 x garlic clove, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 x ciabatta roll with sun-dried tomatoes, sliced in half
  • If the above isn’t available then use 1 x sun-dried tomato, finely chopped within the pâté
  • fresh salad tomato, about 1/2 used
  • olive oil
  • 1 x ‘Little Gem’ lettuce, use small leaves only

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • Pan-fry the bacon until nicely golden. Take off heat and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle simply break into small pieces, or crumbs. Set about a dessertspoonful aside for decorating the tops of the Bruschetta.
  • Scrape the skin off the mackerel and discard, then shred the meat quite finely to check for any unwanted bones. Once happy that the meat is bone free simply place in a suitable bowl. Squeeze the lemon over the fish through a fine sieve.
  • Add the bacon, black olives, parsley and stir through. Add 2 heaped dessertspoonfuls of cream cheese, season with freshly ground black pepper and stir through to combine.
  • If serving Bruschetta: if using plain ciabatta then rub the cut surface with garlic and tomato. Drizzle over a little olive oil and grill/broil until nicely golden. Slice into thin strips and place about 1 dessertspoonful of the pâté on top. Decorate with bacon crumbs and one or two slices of the black olives. If using sun-dried ciabatta then do the above but omit the fresh tomato.
  • If using ‘Little Gem’ lettuce: Break off the larger leaves and set aside for use in a salad. Cut off the smaller leaves and rinse. Simply place a dessertspoonful of the pâté into each leaf, decorate with bacon crumbs, add one or two sliced black olives and snip some parsley over them.


All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


  1. My goodness –looks delicious! I would serve/eat it with both ciabatta and little gem lettuce. Yum…. your dinner guests are lucky!


  2. There is a lady at the Saturday market here who sells all kinds of different sorts of smoked, salted, and marinated fish, but I always go for her mackerel and make a kind of spread with it. Yours is much more sophisticated than mine, and looks really delicious!


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