Michael Psilakis of the celebrity-studded Anthos restaurant in New York puts the ancient flavours of Greece onto the modern table, reinventing old favourites for a glamorous new generation of Greek food lovers. His modern Greek cooking rethinks traditional recipes exploiting the earthy, robust, healthy Mediterranean flavours we all love so much.
Remove the fillets from the mackerel and trim them to a nice, neat shape.
Lightly toast the spices in a dry saucepan. Add the bay leaf, thyme, lemon zest and wine. Reduce the liquid by half. Stir in the vinegar, salt, and sugar.
Place the mackerel in a container and cover with the cold pickling liquid. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain off the pickling solution, and hold the sardines in olive oil until serving.
Cut four slices of cucumber 1/8” thick; trim to the same size as the mackerel.
Thassos Olive Oil:
Place the dried olives in a blender and puree to a fine powder, scraping down the sides. Add the fresh olives bit by bit, pureeing after each addition, until the olive puree is a thick, loose paste. Slowly incorporate the olive oil, 1 tbsp at a time, until the puree is only just pourable.
In each vessel, make a small pool of the Thassos olive oil. Paint each mackerel with a little olive oil and season with a few grains of oregano, sea salt, and black pepper.
Place a mackerel on each cucumber plank and place on top of the olive paste. Make a small dot of yoghurt and a dot of Thassos olive oil in the centre of each mackerel. Garnish with a sliver of Thassos olive and a tiny dill sprig.
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