Grilled Swordfish with Greek Salad Salsa

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

When I was 15, my mom took my sister and me to Greece for spring break. Most of the food there was new to me. In fact—big surprise—even the Greek salads in Greece were different from the Greek salads in New York. Theirs consisted of wonderfully ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, and Greek olives. (But no lettuce!) This dish’s Greek Salad Salsa has all of these, as well as other typical Greek ingredients such as radishes and red onion. You have to toss them all together at the last minute so that the salad doesn’t get watery, but you can prepare all the parts beforehand and then just finish it when you are ready. As a rule, I do not like cheese with fish, but this recipe is an exception. The feta cheese in the salsa is sharp and salty, a perfect complement to the bland fish. This salsa, by the way, would go well with any fish or grilled meat or chicken. You could also turn it into hors d’oeuvres by putting it on top of grilled or toasted slices of country bread rubbed with a cut clove of raw garlic and sprinkled with olive oil.

NotesWhenever I am adding raw onions to a recipe, I soak them first in a bath of ice and cold water for about 20 minutes. Not only does it crisp them up, but it also takes away that nasty onion bite and resulting bad breath that stays with you for hours after eating them. Don’t forget to pat them dry before you add them to the recipe.

Cooking Methodgrilling



Total Timeunder 4 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free

Equipmentgrill, grill pan


Taste and Texturecheesy, crunchy, herby, salty, tangy


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or marjoram
  • Four 7-ounce swordfish steaks, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • One 4-inch-long piece English cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup finely chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
  • 4 radishes, diced
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon drained bottled capers
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves


  1. Combine the garlic, lemon juice, 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the oregano in a large plastic bag with a resealable closure. Add the swordfish and marinate in the refrigerator, turning the bag over once or twice, for 1 to 2 hours.

  2. Toss the tomatoes with the salt and drain in a colander for 15 minutes. Pat dry on paper towels. Soak the red onion in ice water for 20 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Combine the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives, radishes, feta, capers, vinegar, and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. You should have about 3 cups.

  3. Prepare a charcoal fire and allow the coals to burn down to a gray ash. Lightly oil the grill and set about 4 inches from the coals. (Alternatively, preheat a large well-oiled grill pan or preheat the broiler and set a broiling pan about 4 inches from the heat.) Remove the sword-fish from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill or broil until lightly browned and slightly firm to the touch, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve on warmed plates topped with a spoonful of the salsa. Garnish each plate with a pinch of the shredded basil. Serve the remaining salsa on the side.


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