my philosophy of cooking is to figure out the recipe based on your ingredients rather than the other way around. in this case, i was at whole foods, and found some really good looking mackerel. the tomato and grape salsa originated from my desire to balance the spice of the fish with something sweet.
mackerel come in all sorts of varieties, but they are usually all characterized by their stripes and forked tails. i used atlantic mackerel here, a fish that has a very deep fishy flavor, that works very well when paired with acidic flavors (in this case, lemon and vinegar).
(click on any of the photos for the full recipe)
while i'm getting everything ready, i halved the endives and threw them in the oven. belgian endives have little bit of a bitter flavor, cooking them soothes this a little bit, and in general, they go well with seafood.
your friendly fishmonger (in my case, at Whole Foods) can clean your fish for you to save you time for when you're ready to cook.
make slits about 3cm in length about 2 cm apart so that the rub can really seep into the fish and penetrate it.
i often take out the spices that i plan on using before cooking. it helps remind me what the dominant flavors will be so that it can guide the rest of my cooking.
chop the onion and parsley. slice the garlic. crush the tomatoes and grapes. combine all of these with some vinegar then season to taste.
let your salsa sit until the fish is ready. the flavors will meld together and the sharpness of the raw garlic will soften.
add the raw fish to the tray with the endives. add a little bit of melted butter on the skin, as well as some lemon juice. toss on some fresh parsley, it will transfer some earthy flavor to the fish.
bake for about 20-25 min at 400F, until the meat is flaky. you will have to turn about halfway through.
plate the fish whole with salsa and endives.