Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pan-Fried Mackerel w/ Preserved Lemon ‘Harissa' & Beet Orange Salsa

February is Heart Health Month, and one of the best ways to nourish the heart is to eat oily fish containing omega-3s.

Our bodies can’t produce omega-3s, so we need to add them in our diet. Mackerel is a rich source of this fatty acid needed to keep a healthy metabolism and help prevent inflammation throughout the body and brain.

Mackerel is a strong-tasting fish, but you can almost pretend this dish is pizza with these flavorful toppings adapted from the Jerusalem cookbook. You’ll barely taste the fish, and can enjoy a colorful main dish with a protein that costs less than $1.00 for two fillets - even at Whole Foods!


Preserved Lemons: (Prepare 3 days ahead (minimum; best is to prepare a month in advance), or purchase at a Middle Eastern market

See link here for ingredients and directions. I used lemons in this recipe after three days, and put the rest in the refrigerator to finish brining and use later.

Preserved Lemon ‘Harissa' Paste:

1/4 cup preserved lemons, chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed in mortar & pestle
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed in mortar & pestle
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil


1 medium golden beet, washed and ends trimmed
1 medium orange, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped in quarters
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika


4 mackerel fillets
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt


Preserved Lemons:

Prepare lemons three days in advance (according to link above). 

Preserved Lemon ‘Harissa’ Paste

1. Mix preserved lemon pieces, coriander and cumin seeds, garlic, salt and olive oil together in a bowl. Rub the mixture into both sides of the mackerel, and put in fridge until ready to cook.

2. Can be prepared a day or so ahead of time.


1. Boil the beet in water until a fork pierces it, about 20-30 minutes. Cool the beet, then peel and chop into small pieces.

2. Peel the orange, removing all pith and seeds, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

3. Combine the beet, orange, chopped olives, onion and parsley in a bowl. Set aside for at least 10 minutes to allow flavors to combine. Can be prepared a day or so ahead of time.


1. Just before serving, heat the olive and grape seed oils in a frying pan. Add salt to the skin side of the mackerel, and place in hot oil. Cook for 2 minutes, salt the top side, and turn over. Fry for about 1-3 more minutes until done. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

2. Transfer mackerel to plate(s) and spoon salsa on top. Eat immediately.

Serves 4. 

Recipe adapted from the Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tahimi.

#paleo #fish #mackerel #salsa #omega3s 
#hearthealthy #healthyeats 

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