Crisp Mackerel Salad with Grainy-Mustard Vinaigrette

Photo: Lara Robby

Mackerel is richly-flavored and contrasts nicely with the zing of the vinaigrette.


  • 4 fresh Atlantic mackerel fillets (also called Boston mackerel), skin on (about 4 ounces each)

  • Juice of 1 lemon, (about 2 Tablespoons)

  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

  • 1 small garlic clove, minced

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

  • 4 cups watercress, thick stems discarded


  1. Preheat broiler. Place mackerel, skin side down, in a nonreactive baking dish. Pour lemon juice over fish, and let stand 10 minutes, turning once or twice.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, shallot, mustard, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Let stand 10 minutes. Add oil, whisking until emulsified. Add tarragon and chives.

  3. Remove mackerel from lemon juice, and pat dry. Score skin 3 times. Season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

  4. Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray. Lay mackerel, skin side up, on pan. Broil until fish is cooked through and skin is crisp and browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

  5. Toss watercress with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette. Serve mackerel over watercress, and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

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