Pickled Pacific Mackerel and Lentil Salad
Pickling fish is a very traditional way of preserving it but one not as widely used in Canada as it should be. If you cannot find really fresh mackerel, any firm white fish will work. This Lentil Salad could easily stand on its own as a filling for pita or as a topping for warm flatbread.
- 2 lbs (1 kg) whole mackerel, heads removed, fillet and deboned.
- 3 whole cloves garlic, peeled or if in season use 4 ramp bulbs
- 2 medium shallots, halved lengthwise
- 32 g ginger, thinly sliced
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 3 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Additional olive oil, as needed
- Lentil Salad (Recipe Follows)
Add garlic, shallots, ginger, parsley, tarragon, and the rest of the spices in a pot. Add salt, sugar and pepper then pour in water and vinegar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.
Uncover and let cool, then transfer to nonmetallic container and add the two fillets of mackerel. Refrigerate for one day then remove from the pickling liquid and preserve in good quality olive oil. Serve at room temperature.
To serve, divide Lentil Salad between four chilled plates and top with the Pickled Mackerel.
Makes 4 servings.
- 1 ¼ cups green lentils
- 20 small cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup chopped shallots
- ½ cup trimmed and chopped radishes
- ½ cup minced fresh parsley
- ¼ cup of chopped mint
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 yellow bell pepper, brunoise
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup good olive oil
Cook lentils in pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Place in large bowl, let cool.
Toss in the tomatoes, shallots, radishes, parsley, mint, pepper and cumin. Add the lemon juice and olive oil.
Chef Jefferson Alvarez
Fraîche, West Vancouver, BC
Self taught chef, Jefferson Alvarez left Venezuela for Ottawa at age 16 where he briefly attended Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts School. It did not take long for the young chef to get itchy feet and within a year, Alvarez had packed up his knife and English dictionary and moved to Toronto to work at Centro under famed chefs David Lee and Mark Thuet. This ignited an intensity to absorb as much knowledge as he possibly could from Toronto’s culinary talents at restaurants around the city.