Spanish Mackerel with Broccoli Rabe, Asparagus, and Ramps

Michael Anthony

Gramercy Tavern - NYC

This recipe comes from Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern in NYC.


Pickled Ramps:

  • 1 pound ramps, white part only, sliced in half
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

Garlic Confit:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 head garlic, broken into cloves and excess papery skins removed but not peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Garlic Croutons:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic confit
  • 4 slices bread, crusts removed and cubed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Spring Onion Purée:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 spring onions, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Broccoli Rabe, Asparagus, and Ramps:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 asparagus tips, sliced in half
  • 1 bunch ramps
  • 3 Swiss chard leaves, stems removed and leaves cut into ribbons
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, about 1/4 pound
  • 1 tablespoon garlic confit
  • 1 tablespoon pickled ramps
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Spanish Mackerel:

  • Four 8-ounce fillets Spanish mackerel, bones removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


To make the pickled ramps, place them in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Combine water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, star anise, and coriander seeds together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour brining liquid over the ramps and let cool to room temperature. Store covered in the refrigerator overnight before using.

For the garlic confit, bring water, garlic, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Drain in a colander and blanch garlic in the same manner 5 more times. Drain well on paper towels and remove peels. Return garlic to the small saucepan and add olive oil. Simmer over low heat until garlic is very tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove garlic from olive oil and set aside.

For the garlic croutons, heat olive oil and butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic confit and continue to heat until butter stops crackling and begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add bread crumbs and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until bread crumbs are golden brown and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove croutons from saucepan and drain on a paper towel–lined plate.

For the spring onion purée, heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add spring onions, garlic, and shallots and sauté until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Place mixture in a blender and purée with brown butter. Remove from blender, season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.

To make the warm broccoli rabe, asparagus, and ramp salad, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and sauté until almost tender, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat, add the ramps and sauté for 3 minutes. Add Swiss chard, broccoli rabe, and garlic confit and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add pickled ramps, toss to combine, and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Prepare grill or smoker ahead of desired cooking time so the coals reach a low heat before you cook the mackerel. Brush the fillets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the fillets, skin side down, in the center of a lightly oiled rack set 5 inches over the glowing coals and grill until just cooked through, about 7 minutes. Before serving remove skin from fillets.

To assemble dish, reheat the spring onion purée and divide among 4 plates. Place mackerel on top of purée and spoon salad onto the plates. Top with garlic croutons and serve.


4 servings