Pan seared mackerel with pistachio pesto

By Spencer Watts
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  • 4 mackerel fillets, 110 grams each, skin on, bones removed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) canola oil, for searing fish
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) panko
  • 4 tablespoons (60 milliliters) Parmesan


  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) pistachios, shells removed
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) basil leaves, well packed
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) cilantro leaves, well packed
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) mint leaves
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and deveined (optional)

Yogurt dip:

  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chives (30 milliliters), chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 pitas


  1. In a food processor, blitz basil, mint, parsley, cilantro, pistachios, olive oil, and salt. Continue adding oil, a little at a time to get thick moist texture. Add jalapeño to final pulse. Transfer pesto to a bowl.
  2. Make yogurt dip. Combine yogurt, grated garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  3. Turn on the oven broiler on high.
  4. Rinse mackerel and pat dry. Run your finger down the centre of the fish to ensure that all the bones have been removed.  If you find any you can pull them out with your fingers
  5. Season fish with salt. Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Swirl in one to two tablespoons canola oil. When hot, lay fillets, skin-side down, in pan and press the fish into the skillet to ensure crispy skin. Cook three to four minutes or until skin is crisp and golden.
  6. Remove fish from the pan and place onto a baking tray skin side down.
  7. Spread pesto over the mackerel. Sprinkle grated parmesan and panko over top. Drizzle with a touch of oil.
  8. Place under the broiler to finish cooking for approximately two minutes.
  9. Drizzle oil on a pita, and season with salt and pepper. Grill on a grill pan for 30-60 seconds a side.
  10. Plate broiled pesto mackerel on the pita, and top with yogurt. Garnish with pistachios.


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