Turks call these sandwiches balik ekmek and make them with grilled fish—like mackerel—from the Bosphorus. For his version, Mehmet Gürs spreads grilled bread with a creamy roasted-garlic puree and tops it with smoked mackerel, arugula and slices of red onion and tomato.
More Tasty Sandwiches
1 large head of garlic, halved crosswise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Nine 1/2-inch-thick slices of Italian bread or ciabatta, halved lengthwise
Small arugula leaves, for garnish
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced
3 smoked mackerel fillets (about 3/4 pound), skin removed and each fillet broken into 6 pieces
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the garlic on a piece of foil, cut sides up. Brush with oil and wrap the garlic in the foil. Bake for 40 minutes, until softened; let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, light a grill. Brush the bread slices on 1 side with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Grill over high heat until lightly charred, about 1 minute per side.
Squeeze the roasted garlic into a bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt.
Spread the roasted-garlic puree on the grilled bread and arrange a few arugula leaves on top. Top with the mackerel and onion and tomato slices and serve.
Mackerel follows the general rule for oily fish: Don't pair it with anything tannic (it will taste fishy) or oaky (ditto). This leaves bright, unoaked whites or crisp, dry rosés. Try a citrusy Vermentino from Italy or a rosé from California's Central Coast.
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