Mackerel Escabèche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts
A traditional escabèche is made by soaking fried fish overnight in a pungent blend of vinegar and garlic. In his riff on this recipe, chef Ferran Adrià skips the marinating, which not only speeds things up but also keeps the tastes fresh. The rich fish is delicious with these piquant, potent flavors.
Four 1/2-pound Spanish mackerel fillets with skin, each cut in half crosswise
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 thick asparagus spears
One 6.5-ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon Pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the fillets to a deep platter or shallow baking dish and discard the oil in the skillet.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the asparagus, artichoke hearts, garlic, bay leaves and pimentón and cook over moderate heat until the vegetables are lightly browned and the asparagus are just tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the vinegar and pour over the fish. Let cool slightly, then serve.