grilled mackerel, tomato salsa; kale and collards


Mackerel, Spanish or Boston mackerel, is one of the most beautiful fish in the sea [here, some fillets in full sunlight], whether whole or filleted, and one of the most delicious. It’s a pity so many people avoid it because of the adjective “oily’ that is so casually attached to it, generally with a negative connotation.  But it’s precisely the full flavor and, yes, the oiliness of mackerel and other non-whitefish, like salmon, trout, and tuna (as well as the smaller species, such as anchovies, herring, and sardines), that is prized by others, including myself.  Of course there’s also the health factor, but most people don’t actually eat food counsel.

The secret for enjoying mackerel, or any oily fish, is the same as for any other food is finding the right recipe.  This is just one, and it’s very simple.


  • 2-ounce Boston mackerel fillets (a total of 8 for the two of us) from Pura Vida Fisheries, brushed with olive oil and seasoned, pan-grilled briefly over high heat (both sides, skin side down first), then transferred to warm plates and half-covered with a Sicilian-style salsa of halved cherry tomatoes from Toigo Orchards, capers, lemon juice from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, salt, pepper, and a bit of chopped winer savory from Whole Foods
  • a mixture of kale and collard greens from Rogowski Farm, roughly chopped, wilted with olive oil in which one lightly-crushed garlic clove from ‘music garlic’ heads from Migliorelli Farm, cut in two, had been heated, the greens seasoned with salt and freshly-ground pepper, and drizzled with more olive oil
  • the wine was a Spanish white, CVNE Cuna Monopole Rioja Blanco 2013
  • the music was Bach, partitas played by Jeremy Denk