Sautéed Spanish Mackerel with Celery Salsa Verde
Miller Union, Atlanta
"Spanish mackerel is a small fish found in the Gulf of Mexico and Southern Atlantic waters. It follows warmer currents and stays fairly close to the shore. The flesh is flaky and white with a full, briny flavor. Because this is an oily fish, be sure to buy it fresh and cook it soon thereafter, as it is more perishable than some other species.
Classic Italian salsa verde (green sauce) is an olive oil–based sauce with fresh herbs that varies from region to region. It is typically made with anchovies, or sometimes capers, but because I am serving this with an oily fish, I have chosen to omit both. Instead, I include the crisp, astringent leaves of celery to balance the full flavor of the Spanish mackerel." —Steven Satterfield
Celery Salsa Verde:
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sautéed Spanish Mackerel:
- 2 medium Spanish mackerel fillets (5 to 6 ounces each), skin removed
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon wedge
Make the celery salsa verde: in a small bowl, combine the garlic, zest, mustard, and salt. Stir in the celery leaves, mint, parsley, and olive oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt as needed.
Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium–high heat. Carefully lay the fillets in the hot oil, lightly brown them on one side, and turn off the heat. When ready to serve, flip the fillets over and let sit for 30 seconds, then transfer to dinner plates. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a drizzle of the celery salsa verde.