So, it’s summer, we don’t want to slave away in the kitchen preparing meals that take hours to cook, we want light, easy to do meals that can feed a crowd (if your having friends over for lunch on Sunday), that are delicious and why not, rewarding. After all, you want your guests to praise you for the meals you deliver. I come from a fishermen’s family and in the summer time we would have a lot of fish. I quite frankly like my fish grilled… I like all sorts of things grilled, but we’ll get to that later (wink, wink!).
With this in mind, I have this scrumptious recipe for grilled mackerel with vegies that is super easy to do and can be served as a lunch or dinner. It takes about 30 minutes including your prep time.
Let’s get cooking boys and girls!
- Mackerel – if medium size, use one per person
- Coarse salt
- Olive oil
- Spice rub – coriander and cumin seeds, black peppercorns, chilly flakes or some hot paprika or chilli powder
- Cherry tomatoes – one bundle of four-five per person
- Zucchini – two large or four smaller ones
You’ll have to gut your fish, or you can ask your fisherman to do it for you, score it down on both sides and salt it in and out with coarse sea salt and sprinckle over some olive oil, it will make the spices stick to the fish better. I have read that if you toast your spices before you use `em it will enhance their aroma and in the end your meals will taste better, so do that.
Toast your spices and then put `em in a mortar and pestle and make a powder spice rub which you’ll use on your fish. Grill the fish on both sides for about 15 to 20 minutes turning it one time. The cooking time depends on how big your fish is.
Meanwhile slice the zucchinies in 1 cm thick slices and salt them with just a little too much salt than you’ll probably use, trust me, they won’t get too salty, they’ll be sweet and gorgeous, just like salted caramel. The reason for this brine of some kind is that the salt will make them sweaty so that the water that they contain will get out, leave `em like that for about 10 minutes and after squize them in your hand to get the water out.
After that put them in between the fish so that they can grill nicely, just 2-3 minutes on each side, you’ll finish `em in the pan with some olive oil to give some glow to that chargrilled look. They’ll taste heavenly.
Do the same with your tomatoes, throw them in some olive oil just until their skin is falling apart. In the summer time you’ll want to make the most of the incredible produce that you can find in the farmer’s market or in your garden if you’re lucky enough to have one.
Text: Simona Stinga
Chef: Petrica Ghita
Photo: Ionela Stoica