Many fish markets are left with scraps at the end of a day from breaking a fish down into tidy filets. This means that for a few bucks, you might be able to score some freshly cut salmon heads, which are great roasted, grilled, or pan-fried like this recipe, which bastes the heads with a spicy agrodolce.
- In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, brown sugar, chile, and garlic over low heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until reduced in half.
- With a large, sharp knife, cut each of your salmon heads down the center, so that the face is split into two symmetrical halves. Pat dry with a paper towel, sprinkle each half with kosher salt, and set on a plate.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
- When the oil is simmering, lay all of the fish head halves in the pan, skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crackly.
- Flip the fish heads over using tongs, and spoon half of the agrodolce over the top. Cook for 3 more minutes, or until the meat around the collar is cooked all the way through.
- Move the cooked fish heads to a plate, and add the cherry tomatoes to the pan. Let cook for 2 minutes, until they start to sputter and char in spots. Sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt and a few cracks of black pepper in, move them around in the pan, and let them cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the fish heads back to the pan with the cherry tomatoes, spoon a little more of the agrodolce over them (you can reserve some for serving), and remove from heat.
Anna Hezel is the former senior editor of TASTE.