mackerel, Sicilian caper-tomato salsa; okra sauté with chili


Once again, a great fish, and a superb recipe, this pan-grilled mackerel manages to taste a little different each time I prepare it, and this one may have been the most delicious ever. The only substantive difference I brought to it was the late addition of milkweed buds.



I think the tomatoes really were ‘The Best Cherry Tomatoes’, at least among the crops available in the season so far.



The small early okra were also delicious, but, probably for the first time, without the slight crispiness that makes them really sing, since I had to crowd the pods in a pan a little smaller than ideal. The exigency of the 2-burner grill pan I used for the fish meant I didn’t have enough space for the 13″+ cast iron pan I would usually have used.


  • five Spanish mackerel filets (totaling 13 or 14 ounces) from Blue Moon Fish Company, washed, dried, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, pan grilled over high heat for a total of about 6 minutes, skin side down first, then turning once, transferred to plates, topped with a salsa of halved cherry tomatoes from Stokes Farm which had been tossed with olive oil, wild capers in brine which had been rinsed and drained, some organic lemon juice, salt, and pepper, some milkweed buds from Down Home Acres (in Unadilla, N.Y.) scattered on and around the fish and the salsa
  • about half a pound of okra from Kernan Farms, sautéed in olive oil along with crushed dried chiles in a long oval copper pan over a high flame, then seasoned with salt
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) white, S + A Verdelho Calveras County 2014 [the link is to the 2014 vintage]
  • the music was a beautiful performance of early eighteenth-century concerti, the album, ‘Concerts & Follies In Pergolesi’s Time