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
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
How to Make It
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
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.
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
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