Pear wood-smoked mackerel with guacamole and bergamot vinaigrette

A simple, refreshing bergamot vinaigrette provides a distinctive citrus accent for this Pear wood-smoked mackerel with guacamole. The combination of surprising flavors and contrasting textures makes it a tasty appetizer that your guests will enjoy year-round.

We recently posted about using different types of as a way of introducing an additional aromatic/flavor component to your dishes. In their most basic state, horse mackerel and bergamot naturally share similar floral notes, but when infused with the smoky aroma of pear wood, this oily, flavorful white fish takes on an added complexity. The spicy chocolate notes that result from smoking the pear wood chips suddenly find yet another link to the spicy, citrus notes of the bergamot vinaigrette.

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Pear Wood-smoked Mackerel (Serves 4)


  • 4 horse mackerel fillets
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh pepper, coarsely ground
  • pear wood chips, for smoking

Soak the wood chips in a bowl of water for 30 minutes. Wrap the wet wood chips in an aluminum foil, creating a self-enclosed packet. Prick the foil with a toothpick to make small pinholes in the packet so that the smoke can escape. Place the foil packet on your grill and wait till it begins smoking.

Meanwhile, sprinkle sea salt over the mackerel fillets and set aside for 20 minutes. Wash the salt off the fillets and pat dry.

Once the wood chips have begun smoking, transfer the mackerel fillets to the grill and smoke them to taste. Season with fresh pepper.

Fresh Guacamole

The smoked mackerel also shares green, grass-like notes with the avocado and olive oil in the guacamole, which provides its own rich, creamy flavor and texture to complement the fish.


  • 145 g avocado
  • 10 g yogurt
  • 10 g lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 6 g red wine vinegar
  • 20 g extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 g cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste

Blend the avocado with the yogurt, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and cilantro until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve and season with salt to taste.

Bergamot Vinaigrette

To finish, fine slivers of fresh radish add a light, peppery crunch, along with the tart essence of the bergamot vinaigrette.


  • 10 g bergamot juice, freshly squeezed
  • 30 g extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 g radish, julienned
  • salt, to taste

Whisk the bergamot juice together with the olive oil and season with salt to taste.

Arrange the smoked mackerel fillets on plates, together with the guacamole. Garnish with julienned radishes and spoon the Bergamot Vinaigrette over and around the mackerel fillets.

Learn more about pairing bergamots and their aroma profile

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