mackerel, caper-tomato-fennel salsa; eggplant, oregano


Mackerel are not endangered, not expensive, very good for you, and very delicious.

After so many previous outings, how much more can I say about this great mackerel preparation? It’s Michael White’s very simple Sicilian-inspired recipe.  I can usually vary the tomatoes, depending on what may be available, and sometimes at the very end I sprinkle something on the top (last night, for the first time, a micro bronze fennel), but even more important is the freshness of the fish and my luck in getting the correct flame and timing the cooking right.

Tomatoes and eggplant too: not endangered, not expensive, very good for you, and very delicious.

I love grilling somewhat larger eggplant, but I always smile when I spot ‘fairy tale’ eggplant (a name I’ve usually shortened to ‘fairy eggplant’) in the Greenmarket. They have the disadvantage of not lending themselves to being scored before grilling, but they have the advantage of not lending themselves to being scored before grilling (scoring takes a little more time, but only a little more time). Both larger and smaller eggplant can be combined with another vegetable, and tomato is a natural, but I kept it simple this time.





  • four 3 to 4-ounce Spanish mackerel fillets from Blue Moon Fish, washed, dried, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, pan grilled over high heat for 6 or 7 minutes, turning once (the skin side down first), removed and completed with a salsa consisting of 1/2-inch diced heirloom tomatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm tossed with olive oil, wild brined capers which had been rinsed and drained, juice from small Limoneira lemon from Trader Joe’s, salt, and pepper, and sprinkled with ‘micro bronze fennel’ from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • several handfuls of fairy tale eggplant from Stokes Farm, sliced in half, tossed with oil, chopped young (juicy) garlic from Alewife Farm, salt, pepper, fresh budding oregano from Stokes Farm, grilled on a large ribbed cast-iron pan and garnished with more of the oregano
  • the wine was an Italian (Sicilian) white, Catarratto Bosco Falconieria 2013, produced by Bosco Falconeria, from Astor Wines
  • the music was Antonio Vivaldi’s opera, ‘Tito Manlio’, performed by  the Accademia Bizantina, directed by Ottavio Dantone