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Alta Editions is an award-winning publisher of web-based cookbooks. We publish stories and exclusive recipes from some of the world's most inspiring chefs.

Spanish Mackerel with White Beans and Arugula

Chef Laurent Gras Recipes

Spanish Mackerel with White Beans and Arugula

Alta Editions

The bright, lemony flavor of the vinaigrette balances the natural richness of the mackerel, and the crispy skin adds contrast to the moist texture of the flesh. Arugula brings spiciness to the white beans.
— Laurent Gras

This Provence-inspired Spanish Mackerel with White Beans and Arugula recipe is a preview from chef Laurent Gras's multiple IACP award-winning cookbook, My Provence.

4 servings   |   Prep Time: 20 minutes   |   Cooking Time: 1 hour

 

Ingredients

For the White Beans

  • 6 ounces (150 g) dried Tarbais, cannellini, or other white beans
  • 4 teaspoons (20 g) coarse sea salt
  • Mineral or tap water to cook the beans
  • Fine sea salt
  • 10 arugula leaves, thinly sliced

For the Spanish Mackerel

  • 3 pounds (1.5 kg) whole Spanish mackerel, dressed, or 1 ¼ pounds (600 g) Spanish mackerel fillets, skin intact
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sherry vinegar
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 slices
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground white pepper

For the Lemon-Arugula Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons (40 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (60 g) cooked white beans (above)
  • ½ cup (100 ml) cooking liquid from the beans (above)
  • ½ cup (100 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of ½ lemon, finely grated on a Microplane
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt

For the Arugula Salad

  • 2 bunches arugula
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (20 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

For the White Beans

Place the dried beans in a bowl and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Add the coarse salt and let soak at room temperature for 24 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the beans in a pot and cover with mineral water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 1 hour, skimming the foam that forms on the surface of the water with a perforated spoon. When soft, season the beans with fine salt. Let cool to room temperature in the cooking water. Drain, except for ½ cup of the cooking liquid, which will be reserved for the vinaigrette (below). Just before serving, toss the beans and the arugula.

For the Spanish Mackerel

If using a whole Spanish mackerel, break the fish down into boneless fillets with the skin attached. Divide the fish into four 5-ounce (150 g) portions. Season with sea salt on the flesh side. Pour the sherry vinegar on a platter and place the mackerel skin side down in the vinegar to marinate for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel. Preheat the oven to 300ºF (150°C). Place a wire baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the lemon slices in a single layer on the rack to hold the fish. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan over high heat and sear the fish, skin side down, just until the skin becomes crispy. Transfer the fish onto the bed of lemon, skin side up, and bake for 10 minutes for medium rare or 15 minutes for medium. Season with freshly ground white pepper.

For the Lemon-Arugula Vinaigrette

In a tall, narrow container or a blender, combine the lemon juice, beans, and cooking liquid. Using an immersion blender, blend until totally smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer into a small mixing bowl. With a small whisk, slowly beat in the olive oil to form an emulsified dressing. Add the lemon zest and a pinch each of cayenne and salt.

For the Arugula Salad

Remove the stems and wash the leaves of the arugula. Rinse and allow to drain in a pasta strainer. Place over a towel to dry completely. Transfer to a mixing bowl, season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss.

To Assemble the Dish

Spoon the cooked white beans mixed with the arugula in the center of the plate and spoon some of the vinaigrette over the beans. Drizzle with a little additional olive oil and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper. Arrange the arugula salad around the plate and place the mackerel on top.


Get this recipe and over 40 other delicious Provence-inspired dishes in Laurent Gras: My Provence, the award-winning online cookbook from renowned chef Laurent Gras, for FREE (a $9.99 value!) when you sign up for the Alta Editions Cooking Series. Get It Now button