Grilled Mackerel with Walnut Agrodolce

Menu PartEntree
Grilled Mackerel with Walnut Agrodolce

Chef Trent Page

Whole Foods Markets

San Francisco

Agrodolce, a classic sweet and sour sauce originating in Italy, can be prepared in minutes. Vinegar, lemon and golden raisins are essential elements, but Trent Page, regional culinary director for Whole Foods Markets, kicks it up a notch with the addition of walnuts and coconut sugar. The ingredients cut the richness of fattier fish, such as mackerel and salmon.




4 to 6 skin-on mackerel fillets (4 oz. each), lateral pins removed

1 cup kosher salt


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2/3 cup finely diced shallots

1½ tsp. minced garlic cloves

2/3 cup finely diced celery

2/3 cup golden raisins

1½ tbsp. coconut sugar

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

1½ tsp. grated lemon zest

2/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley,

3 tbsp. walnut oil

1 tsp. kosher salt



  1. For fish, in clean container, cover mackerel fillets with kosher salt. Let stand 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Wash off salt off with cold water and pat dry. (This can be done 6 to 24 hours in advance; cover and keep refrigerated until ready to cook.)
  3. Meanwhile, prepare agrodolce: Preheat sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add shallots; cook until translucent. Add garlic and celery; cook 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in golden raisins, coconut sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook until vinegar is reduced by half. Add walnuts and lemon zest; remove from heat. Stir in walnut oil and salt. Let sauce marinate for 2 to 24 hours to blend flavors; stir in parsley.
  5. Preheat grill until very hot, about 550 F. Grill mackerel, skin-side down, until flesh turns opaque and skin blisters. Be careful not to burn the skin. Remove from grill and slice each fillet with a bias cut into two equal parts.
  6. To serve, arrange 2 pieces cut fish on each plate; spoon about ¼ cup agrodolce over each.

Photograph courtesy of California Walnuts

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