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grilling Italian
Swordfish Involtini Sicilian-Style

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Sicilians make involtini out of almost everything. This is a summery version of a traditional swordfish involtini, with the stuffed rollatini cooked on the grill and accompanied by a fresh tomato salad packed with typical Sicilian flavors: olives, capers, currants, and pine nuts.

Yield: Serves 6


  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ½ cup Gaeta olives (you can pit them, but I don’t)
  • ¼ cup salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup currants
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted until golden brown
  • 1½ teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 2-pound skinless swordfish steak, cut horizontally into 6 thin slices (about 1/3 inch thicK)


In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, capers, currants, pine nuts, pepper flakes, and olive oil and stir gently to mix. Set aside (don’t refrigerate).

Grate the zest from the oranges; set aside. Using a sharp paring knife or serrated knife, cut off the top and bottom of 1 orange to expose the flesh (reserve the other orange for another use). Stand it upright on a work surface and slice off the skin and bitter white pith, working from top to bottom and following the natural curve of the fruit, then trim away any remaining pith. To remove the segments, carefully cut each one away from the membranes, sliding the knife down either side to release it. Set aside in a small bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, reserved orange zest, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste, mixing well with your hands or a fork.

Cut twelve 9-inch-long pieces of kitchen twine. Season each slice of swordfish with salt and pepper. Layout on a work surface and divide the bread crumb mixture among the slices, spreading it evenly. Starting from a narrow end, carefully roll each one up like a jelly roll and tie with 2 pieces of twine. Place on a plate and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.

Brush the swordfish rolls all over with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season again with salt and pepper. Place on the hottest part of the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Gently turn over 90 degrees with tongs and cook for 1 minute, then repeat twice to cook on all sides.

To serve, season the tomato salad with a little salt and spread out on a platter. Place the involtini on the tomatoes, and garnish with the orange segments.


Toasting pine nuts:

Toasting pine nuts brings out their flavor. To toast them, put them on a small baking sheet or in a pie pan and toast in a preheated 350°F oven for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Once the nuts start to color, they will darken rapidly, so keep an eye on them, and transfer them a plate to cool as soon as they are done. If you need only a couple of tablespoons of toasted nuts, you can toast them in a small heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Pour onto a plate and let cool.

© 2008 Mario Batali

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

426kcal (21%)
85mg (8%)
43mg (72%)
114mcg RAE (4%)
59mg (20%)
916mg (38%)
4g (18%)
20g (31%)
3mg (17%)

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