Tour the Mediterranean in Olives & Oranges: Recipes & Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus & Beyond by Sara Jenkins & Mindy Fox, including Sweet Pumpkin and Rice Bean Soup with Crème Fraîche and Crispy Seeds; Maccheroni with White Beans, Mustard Greens, and Anchovy; and Grilled Mako Shark Skewers with Shaved Radish and Parsley Salad.
Makes 4 Servings
Many shark varieties are overfished; mako is still quite plentiful and really tasty. Similar to swordfish in color, taste, and texture, it grills beautifully, and it marries well with citrus and strong spices. Pacific halibut, tuna, sea bass, and sturgeon are great substitutes, if necessary. Za'atar—a spice well worth seeking out—adds a delicious Middle Eastern touch, but the combination of grilled fish, radish, and parsley is lovely even without it.
Flavor Tip: Macerating shallots, or any onion, with a pinch of salt mellows and sweetens their sharp bite.
In a large bowl, toss together shark, zaatar, and 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons oil. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
Build a hot fire in a charcoal grill.
Just before cooking shark, stir together shallot and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Add radishes, parsley, and lemon juice and toss to combine.
Season shark with salt and pepper and thread onto metal skewers. Grill until lightly charred on both sides and cooked through, about 3-1/2 minutes per side.
Transfer skewers to a platter and immediately drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil. Serve with radish and parsley salad.
This delicious Lebanese spice mix is said to awaken the mind and strengthen the body. It is traditionally comprised of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt, but there are many regional variations. Za'atar (also spelled zaatar, zatar, and zahatar) should be predominantly green, with lots of sesame seeds. Try it on warm bread with olive oil or sprinkle it over yogurt or hummus, also drizzled with oil, and serve with bread to dip. Za'atar is a fantastic poultry and fish seasoning too, either as a dry rub or as part of a marinade.
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This page created November 2008
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