Eating endangered fish is a “criminal act” according to French Terra Madre chef Gérard Vives, whose book, La bonne cuisine bon marché bonne pour la santé (Good, healthy cooking at a good price), dedicates an entire chapter to the fruits of the sea with recipes using only sustainable fish.
Also an expert on spices, in this simple yet elegant recipe adapted from his book, Vives plays citrus and vanilla against the distinctive rich flavor of mackerel.
Much of the commercial mackerel fishery in the northeast Atlantic has been certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council but the UK’S Marine Conservation Society still recommends to look for fish caught using traditional methods such as handlines. The mackerel in this recipe can also be substituted with other oily fish such as anchovy or sardine, depending on the availability and sustainability of fish in your area.
This recipe and many others for sustainable fish from the Slow Food network around the world can be found on the Slow Fish website,
The Recipe (serves 2)
1 tbsp (15 g/0.5oz) butter
seeds scraped from ¼ vanilla pod
juice of 1 orange
juice of ½ lemon
juice of ½ grapefruit
2 x 300g/10oz mackerel, filleted
Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the vanilla seeds plus juices from the citrus fruits. Add the fillets to the pan and sauté them in he sauce for 5 minutes over medium heat or until cooked through. Remove the fish from the sauce and serve with lightly steamed vegetables.
If desired, continue to cook the remaining sauce over low heat until reduced, adding a tablespoon of butter. Pour over dish.