Crispy Mackerel with Garlic-Parsley Puree
Created by Barton Seaver
Servings: Makes 4 Servings
  • 2 heads garlic , cloves separated and peeled (about 1 cup)
  • 1 to 2 bunches flat-leaf parsley leaves (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 pieces Atlantic mackerel or farmed striped bass (6 ounces each), skin on
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/4 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
To make puree: Place garlic and 2 cups cold water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Strain, discarding water. Repeat 2 more times, and let garlic cool to room temperature. In a food processor, combine parsley, garlic, salt, and 1/4 cup water. Blend 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth, stopping twice to scrape down sides of bowl. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil until mixture is emulsified (for a smoother texture, strain through a fine-meshed sieve, pressing with back of spoon; discard solids).

To make fish: Season cut side of fish with salt. In a small bowl, stir together mustard and milk; lightly brush onto skin side of fish. Top evenly with bread crumbs; press down lightly to adhere.

Preheat oven to 200°. Heat canola oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and heat until foamy. Gently add fish, skin side down; cook 3 minutes without moving. Remove skillet from heat, carefully turn fish (crumbs should be crispy and golden brown), and transfer to oven. Bake 6 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

To serve, spoon 2 Tbsp. parsley puree across the center of each of 4 plates (you should have about 1/2 cup puree left over). Arrange fish in the middle, perpendicular to the line of puree. Serve with a salad of your favorite mixed greens, lightly dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.

Note: This recipe makes double the amount of puree needed for the dish. Refrigerate leftover puree in an airtight container up to 1 week; it also tastes great on chicken or pork.