One of the sure signs of spring in New England is the return of native shad, which migrate annually from the ocean and up the Connecticut River each spring to spawn. Here, a spicy Asian-inspired marinade matches the fish’s assertive flavor with layers of citrus and soy.
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup red miso
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 shad fillets, skin and dark meat removed (8 narrow pieces)
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
In a medium-size nonreactive bowl, dissolve brown sugar in orange juice; then whisk in zest, miso, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and pepper. Add fillets and turn to coat completely; marinate 30—45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°. Wipe excess marinade from fillets. Wrap a fillet around your index finger to form a pinwheel, beginning with the wide end, skin side in. Place pinwheel on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Repeat with each fillet.
Insert a quartered artichoke heart into the center of each pinwheel. Roast until juices bubble in the center of each pinwheel, 10—14 minutes.