Grilled mackerel with salmoriglio, an Italian sauce of olive oil, lemon, garlic, and oregano.

Grilled mackerel with salmoriglio, an Italian sauce of olive oil, lemon, garlic, and oregano. (Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: About 30 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6

Note: Mackerel can generally be found at good fish and Asian markets. This sauce is also good served with grilled swordfish.

Salmoriglio sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a lidded jar, combine the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of water, lemon juice, garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley, oregano and salt. Seal tight and shake well to combine. Heat 15 to 20 seconds in a microwave or 5 minutes atop a double boiler, and shake well again before using.

Grilled mackerel

6 (1/2-pound each) whole mackerel, cleaned, or 2 pounds mackerel fillets

Salt

Olive oil

1. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Cut 3 or 4 crosswise slashes on each side of the fish, about 1 1/2 inches apart, cutting through the skin into the meat but not all the way through to the bone.

2. If using whole fish, when ready to cook, prepare a hot fire. You should be able to hold your hand 2 to 3 inches above the surface for 4 or 5 seconds. Make sure the grill is very clean. Using a pair of tongs, rub the grill surface with a paper towel dipped in oil.

3. Season the fish liberally with salt and brush with olive oil and place them on the grill. Cook, without moving the fish around, until the undersides are well-browned and the flesh is beginning to flake. This will take only 3 to 4 minutes. If you try to turn the fish and they stick, let them cook another 30 seconds or so to release and try again. Turn and cook on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes.

4. If using fillets, when ready to cook, prepare a very hot fire. You should be able to hold your hand 3 to 4 inches above the surface for 3 to 4 seconds. Make sure the grill is very clean. Using a pair of tongs, rub the grill surface with a paper towel dipped in oil.

5. Season the fish liberally with salt and brush with olive oil. Place the fish on the grill skin-side down. Cook, without moving the fish around, until the undersides are well-browned and the flesh is beginning to flake. This will take only 2 to 3 minutes. If you try to turn the fish and they stick, let them cook another 30 seconds or so to release and try again. Turn and cook on the other side for another 2 or 3 minutes.

6. Remove fish to a platter; spoon over a couple tablespoons of salmoriglio sauce. Serve immediately.

Each of 6 servings: 381 calories; 31 grams protein; 0 carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 28 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 98 mg. cholesterol; 205 mg. sodium.