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Mackerel with Herb Salad

Photo: Marcus Nilsson; Styling: Victoria Granof
Yield 4 servings
Brining the fish in water with salt and sugar heightens its natural flavor, but it also provides a little added insurance that the fish will remain moist, even if it's slightly overcooked. Mackerel has a firm texture and full-bodied flavor, making it a perfect candidate for the grill.


  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 (6-ounce) mackerel fillets
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 cup orange sections (about 2 medium)
  • 3/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic

Nutrition Information

  • calories 459
  • fat 22 g
  • satfat 2.7 g
  • monofat 8 g
  • polyfat 9.5 g
  • protein 43.7 g
  • carbohydrate 23.3 g
  • fiber 5.1 g
  • cholesterol 99 mg
  • iron 6.1 mg
  • sodium 795 mg
  • calcium 202 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

  2. Combine 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon salt, and sugar in a shallow dish. Add fillets; let stand 15 minutes. Remove fillets; pat dry. Discard brine. Place fillets, skin side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. (Do not turn fillets.) Keep warm.

  3. Combine parsley leaves, onion slices, orange rind, orange sections, and tarragon in a bowl. Sprinkle herb mixture with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss. Combine walnuts and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk until blended. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 cup herb mixture. Drizzle 2 tablespoons walnut mixture over each serving.

Blue Ridge, Washington, DC