Grilled Swordfish with Artichokes, Tomatoes, and Olives
Along with tuna, swordfish is probably the preeminent grilling fish, because the tight texture of its flesh approximates that of meat. Swordfish freezes better than any fish I know. I hesitate to say this, but there is some pretty high quality frozen swordfish referred to as “clipper sword,” because it is caught and quick-frozen within hours. Freezing technology has advanced a great deal over the years, and I think a lot more of our seafood than we know is frozen and then thawed before we eat it. But back to cooking. Here we accent the steak like quality of swordfish with a collection of Mediterranean ingredients mixed together in a free-form chunky relish/salad type of preparation. The poached, then grilled artichokes are excellent all by themselves, but they are even better mixed with the other ingredients, and I think they complement the swordfish very well. You can substitute steaks of tuna, mahi mahi, or salmon in this recipe.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Textureherby, hot & spicy, light, rich, salty, savory, sharp, smoky
- 2 large artichokes
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 large tomato, cored and diced large
- ½ cup pitted brine-cured black olives
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 4 8-ounce swordfish steaks, about 1½ inches thick
Cut off the top third of each artichoke, snip off the sharp tips from the remaining leaves, and trim the bottom slightly so that it is even.
In a small stockpot, bring 3 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the artichokes and boil for about 20 minutes, or until the outer leaves pull away easily with a sharp tug. Drain the artichokes, immediately plunge them into ice and water to stop the cooking process, and then drain again.
Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise, brush them lightly with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the artichokes on the grill over a medium-hot fire, cut side down, and cook them for about 10 minutes, or until the cut sides are well browned. Remove the artichokes and cut each half in half.
In a medium bowl, combine the artichokes, tomato, olives, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and lemon juice and mix well. Set aside.
Check to be sure the fire is still at the medium-hot level. If it is not, add a bit of fuel and wait until it is caught. Rub the swordfish steaks with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and place on the grill. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side, turning only once. To check for doneness: Cut into one of the steaks; it should be just opaque throughout. Remove from the grill and serve, topped with the artichoke mixture.
1997 Christopher Schlesinger and John Willoughby