Grilled Spanish Mackerel with Cauliflower "Tabbouleh"

While Jason Wilson worked in Singapore, he picked up a trick: grating cauliflower finely to use it in a version of tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern salad usually made with bulgur wheat. At Crush, he mixes the salted cauliflower with preserved lemons, garlic and plenty of chopped parsley, then serves it with yellowtail, prepared sashimi-style, or with grilled kampachi, a slightly fatty fish from Hawaii; Spanish mackerel is equally delicious.

Slideshow: More Healthy Fish Recipes

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  • Servings: 6

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  • 1 tablespoon chopped marjoram or oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup snipped chives
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Six 7-ounce Spanish mackerel fillets, with skin
  • 1 small head of cauliflower (1 1/2 pounds), cut into florets
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mild or hot smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced preserved lemon, rind only (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the marjoram, ground fennel and orange zest with 1/2 cup of the olive oil, 1/4 cup of the chives, 2 tablespoons of the parsley and half of the minced shallots. Season the marinade with salt and pepper and pour into a shallow baking dish. Add the mackerel, turn to coat and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, fit a food processor with a coarse shredding disk. With the machine on, drop the cauliflower florets through the feed tube without pressing and process until finely grated. Transfer the cauliflower to a medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of salt. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  3. Drain the cauliflower and squeeze out any liquid; return the cauliflower to the bowl.

  4. In a small skillet, heat the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the minced garlic, cumin and paprika and the remaining minced shallot and cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then pour the mixture over the cauliflower. Add the preserved lemon rind, mint, tomato, sherry vinegar and the remaining 1/4 cup each of parsley and chives to the cauliflower. Season the tabbouleh with salt and pepper and toss.

  5. Light a grill. Grill the fish fillets over moderately high heat, turning once or twice, until they are nicely charred in spots, about 7 minutes. Serve the fish with the cauliflower tabbouleh.


Preserved lemons are a common Moroccan ingredient, made from lemons that have been preserved in lemon juice and salt. Look for them at specialty food stores or at

Suggested Pairing

An Italian white with zingy minerality pairs well with smoky fish.

Contributed By Published July 2008

499183 recipes/grilled-spanish-mackerel-cauliflower-tabbouleh 2013-12-06T23:30:44+00:00 Jason Wilson summer|grilling-barbecuing|barbecue-cookout|middle-eastern|side-dishes|6|healthy july-2008,Jason Wilson,grilled fish,mackerel,tabbouleh,Crush restaurant,Middle Eastern recipes,grilled-spanish-mackerel-cauliflower-tabbouleh 499183

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