Fish Tacos + Preserved Lemons: I guess it’s fusion, I know it’s really good


Bluefish and preserved lemon salsa














Serve this hot or cold and if you’ve got leftovers, think fish tacos!  The recipe also works well with mackerel, sardines and tuna, and lends itself to lots of variations.

Makes 4 servings 

1 preserved lemon

2 tablespoons lemon brine

1 tablespoon (brine-packed) capers

2 tablespoons caper liquid

1/2 white or red onion, thinly sliced

1 sprig rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pinch sugar

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

4 bluefish fillets or thinly sliced pieces of swordfish, each about 1/4 pound

For serving:

Grape tomatoes, sliced

Basil leaves, torn

Extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh lemon wedges

Rinse the preserved lemon under cold water and then cut it into small dice or chop it well.  Toss the lemon and 2 tablespoons of the brine into a non-reactive container large enough to hold the fish.  Rinse the capers and add them and 2 tablespoons of their brine to the container.  Add the onion, rosemary, oil and pinch of sugar and whisk to blend.  Taste the marinade and then season with salt and pepper.  (Even with the salty lemons and capers, you still might want a bit more salt.)

Turn the fish around in the marinade, so that the fillets are glossy on both sides, cover the container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 6 hours, during which time the fish will darken – think ceviche. Bring the fish and marinade to room temperature before cooking.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the fillets from the marinade and pat them dry; reserve the marinade.

Grill the fish or cook it in a skillet with a little oil.

If you want to serve the marinade warm, as a sauce, heat it gently in a saucepan or in a microwave oven. There’s no need to heat it if you want to serve the marinade as a salsa.  In either case, pour the marinade over the fish, top with tomatoes and basil, drizzle with olive oil and serve with the lemon wedges.

TACOS:  When Joshua and I turned the leftovers into tacos, we grilled the tacos on a griddle, broke up the fish and piled it and the salsa onto the tacos, added avocado and hot sauce and gobbled them down.  Only regret — we didn’t have more leftovers.  


Dorie Greenspan