Bring a taste of Russia to your starter with Philippa Davis' grilled red mullet with Russian beetroot salad recipe. The bold colours make it a perfect accompaniment to picnics

Grilled red mullet with Russian beetroot salad could be the perfect start of a summer dinner party or a light lunch to keep you satisfied in the summer heat. Although Russia may not be the first place anyone thinks of for summer, this dish is perfectly light and seasonal. The bold colours make it the perfect addition to a picnic hamper and it is a wonderful accompaniment to barbecued fish and meat.

If Russia doesn’t seem exotic enough take your taste buds to the middle east with Philippa Davis’ Smoked mackerel, orange and labneh salad. And don’t forget about game through the long summer months. The Field’s pick of the top 7 best summer game recipes gives plenty of inspiration for picnics, BBQs and alfresco dining.


This tasty Russian salad stands up brilliantly to barbecued fish or meat. I often include it in my picnic hamper as it’s bright, beautiful and bold.

Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch

  • 4 small red mullet, scaled, gutted and gills removed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the beetroot salad

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1tbsp horseradish cream
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium beetroot, peeled and grated raw
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, cooked and cut into 1cm square cubes
  • 150g (approx) cooked potato, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • Salt and pepper to season

In a bowl, mix the dill, horseradish, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice and olive oil. Stir in the beetroot, carrot and potato then season.

To grill the mullet, season the fish inside and out (not too much salt as mullet naturally tastes salty) and rub with a little olive oil. Grill on a hot griddle pan or barbecue for about three minutes each side.

Serve straight away with a spoonful of room temperature beetroot salad.