Grilled Mackerel with Apple-and-Onion Relish

Mackerel has a wonderful flavor and a great, firm texture, but it definitely gets a bad rap as a “fishy” fish. Maybe that’s why it’s always so reasonably priced. Here, the mustard, dill and caramelized-apple flavors in the relish flatter the rich, almost smoky-tasting grilled fillets.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Four 7-ounce Spanish mackerel fillets

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over high heat until starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the apples and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the apples in an even layer and cook over moderate heat, without stirring, until tender and nicely browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the mustard, chopped dill and lemon juice. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Drizzle the mackerel fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the fillets skin side down over high heat until the skin is nicely charred and crisp, about 2 minutes. Turn the fillets and grill until just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the fillets to plates, skin side down. Top with the relish and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Cool-climate white wines with focused acidity and concentrated flavors can cut through fishy, oily foods like this mackerel. One to try: Müller-Thurgau from Italy’s Trentino region.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published November 2012

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