My father is visiting and I promised him fresh mackerel. There were only small ones left at Dai’s Shed, so we took six and treated them like large sardines, oiling them, barbecuing them and serving them with a Greek-inspired salad. My Greek salad is rather more extravagant than a normal Greek salad. As well as loads of feta, capers and olives, and a good amount of diced tomato, I chuck in some finely sliced spring onion, shredded little gem lettuce and, from the garden, finely chopped giant chives, mint and lovage leaves. It was accompanied by baby new potatoes boiled and tossed in Welsh Dragon butter, chives and flat-leaf parsley from the garden and the whole lot was served with chunks of lemon.
Oh those little mackerel were divine! Firm, moist and full of flavour, and they folded off the bone perfectly. I am going to go into mourning when Dai shuts up the shed in October.
I grow my giant chives from spring onions. When I buy a bunch of spring onions with the white roots still attached, I cut off about 3cm of the spring onion at the root and put it in water for a couple of days, until the roots start to grow and produce new white tendrils and then stick them in a pot of compost, with the top just sticking out. Job done. They start to grow immediately and within a couple of weeks you have a healthy crop – one giant chive per spring onion. And by giant, I mean that the ones I have out there at the moment, which are about a month old, are now nearly 2ft tall. The ones shown in this photograph were exactly two weeks old.