If you like falafel (fried chickpea patties usually sandwiched in a pita pocket), you’ll love this healthier baked twist on that theme. The flavor profile of the fish cakes, like falafel, comes from a tasty puree of chickpeas, lemon, and spices. Adding mackerel gives a healthy seaside twist to this fusion sandwich.
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground dried ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 (6-ounce) Atlantic mackerel fillets
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 green onions, trimmed and thinly diagonally sliced, white and green parts separated
1 large egg
2 tablespoons finely chopped cucumber
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
4 (4-inch) squares focaccia
4 leaves red leaf lettuce
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, ginger, mustard, turmeric, and cayenne; stir in 1 tablespoon oil. Rub the spice mixture over the fish. Place the fish on a baking sheet; bake at 425°F for 8 to 12 minutes or just until the fish flakes with a fork. Let the fish stand at room temperature for 5 minutes; break into chunks.
3. Place the mayonnaise, zest, and chickpeas in a bowl; mash with a fork or potato masher to form a chunky mixture. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil; continue mashing. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, panko, juice, white parts of the green onions, and egg. Carefully fold in the chunks of fish. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions; shape each into a cake.
4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the cakes; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until browned. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425°F until firm, about 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, stir the cucumber, green parts of the green onion, dill, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt into the yogurt. Halve the focaccia horizontally and lengthwise. Spread 1 tablespoon of the yogurt mixture on half of the focaccia; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 fish cake, 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture, and the top half of focaccia.
Excerpted from $10 Dinners by Julie Grimes. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new, and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. You have the power to keep us cooking, sharing these stories, and helping you in the kitchen.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table.