Mackerel with Carrots and Leeks


Mackerel, another salmon alternative, offers fine taste and excellent value. It reminds me of fresh tuna twenty years ago, when it was relatively cheap because few wanted it—before the sashimi-sushi craze, when tuna became “toro” and the price went through the roof, leaving only lesser cuts for those of us not wielding a sushi knife. A mackerel mania may not be far off, so get with it while the getting is still good. The best fishing begins in May or June, and the season runs into fall. (Ditto for sardines.) A lovely Spanish lady who works at a Union Square Greenmarket fish booth gave me the following very simple preparation for this delicious, underappreciated fish.


3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced shallots
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1⁄2 pounds mackerel fillets
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Carrot-leek mixture from this recipe

Yield: 4 Servings


Make a marinade by combining 2 tablespoons of the oil with the rosemary, shallots and lemon juice. Pour over the mackerel, and marinate 10 to 20 minutes. Warm the remaining oil in a large skillet, and cook the mackerel over medium heat, about 3 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper to taste (be careful not to oversalt, as mackerel is already salty), and serve with the carrot-leek mixture.