First foods: mackerel pate

It’s worth the mess: this pate can be served up from six months, and will hopefully surprise you with its popularity. It’s a great way to tick off their weekly portion of oily fish, makes a good finger food when spread on toast or scooped onto cucumber, and as ever is flavoursome enough to share with the grown ups.

2 mackerel fillets
1/2 teaspoon horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
black pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon chopped dill (about two stems – fronds and stalks)
1/2 a clove of garlic, crushed (remove the green shoot from the middle if there is one
1 teaspoon olive or rapeseed oil

Preheat the oven to 180C / gas 4. Lightly oil a baking tray and place the mackerel fillets skin side down. Brush the flesh with the olive or rapeseed oil then bake for 10 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Strip off the skin and carefully flake the flesh into a food processor, checking thoroughly for bones.

Throw all the other ingredients into the food processor with it and whizz until smooth – don’t add salt.

If you don’t have a food processor you can still make this – chop everything as finely as you can; mash the cooked mackerel fillets into the creme fraiche with a fork or potato masher, and then stir through the other ingredients.

Chill for an hour or so before serving (not essential but improves the texture). This also freezes well – freeze it in portions that you know you’ll eat within two days.