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Chef Jon's Spotlight on Swordfish

Texture: Firm, steak-like

Flavor: Mild-tasting, Clean

Chef’s Notes

Best Cooking Methods for Swordfish: Grilling, Searing/Sautéing, Skewers/Kebabs, Broiling

Swordfish is one of my favorite “steak” fish to cook. It's firm texture and mild flavor profile can be paired with a wide range of flavors. One key thing to remember with swordfish is DO NOT OVERCOOK IT! Swordfish is flavorful and moist when cooked properly, but can become dry and unappetizing if overcooked. Using an instant-read thermometer, cook your swordfish to 130 degrees for medium or 135 degrees for medium well for the best results! If you are new to swordfish I recommend a simple marinade (garlic, shallot, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, oil) and a quick grilling or pan-searing. For the more adventurous swordfish connoisseur, try my recipe below for a more unique grilling technique from Sicily!

Sicilian Style Swordfish with Italian Salsa Verde

Technique: Grilling

Yield: 4 Servings

Garnish Suggestions: Grilled zucchini and peppers, roasted potatoes, arugula salad


For the fish:

-          4 (6 ounce) swordfish fillets, preferably 2-3 inch thick

-          ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil for coating

-          1 ½ cups seasoned breadcrumbs

-          Salt and pepper

For the Sauce:

-          1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, leaves only

-          1 ounce mint, leaves only

-          1.5 ounces arugula

-          .5 ounce garlic, lightly chopped

-          .5 ounce anchovies

-          3 ounces capers, drained

-          1 Lemon, zested and juiced

-          8 ounces extra virgin olive oil

-          Salt and pepper to taste



1.      Preheat your grill or cast iron grill pan on HIGH heat. This recipes requires a very hot and very CLEAN cooking surface. Make sure all cooking surfaces are very well scraped.

2.      Before cooking make sure you brush your grill with a lightly oiled towel. Use a towel you don’t mind getting stained.


1.      While your pan is preheating, prepare your sauce. A salsa verde can be made with many different herbs and flavorings so add your favorite!

2.      Add parsley, mint, arugula, garlic, anchovies and capers into the bowl of a food processo and puree for 10-15 seconds to coarsely chop the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3.      Add the lemon juice and salt. Puree for another 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4.      With the food processor running, pour oil in a steady stream. The salsa verde will not hold its emulsion, but the slower addition of oil (as opposed to adding it all at once) allows the herbs and aromatics to chop nicely. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5.      Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary, pour into a serving bowl and set aside.


1.      Place the swordfish in one dish and the breadcrumbs onto a separate dish. Use dishes large enough to hold the fish and allow for movement. I like to use a tart pans or pie dishes.

2.      Coat the swordfish with the EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Lift the swordfish out of the oil and toss in the breadcrumbs. (I like to add some lemon zest to the breadcrumbs for nice flavor boost.) Leave the swordfish in the breadcrumbs until ready to grill.


1.      Toss swordfish in breadcrumbs to coat, pressing lightly into the breadcrumbs for the best adherence.

2.      Move the swordfish to the hottest part of your oiled, preheated grill. Depending on thickness of the fish, grill the swordfish for 2-4 minutes per side. If your grill is extra hot you may need to turn the swordfish 90 degrees on the first side before flipping to ensure grill lines don’t get too dark. Remember that because you are grilling with breadcrumbs you want to move the fish as little as possible to allow those breadcrumbs to brown and color nicely. If your cooking surface isn’t hot enough it will stick!

3.      Flip the swordfish and repeat for another 2-4 minutes depending on thickness. Use an instant-read thermometer to test the thickest part of the fish and cook until it registers 125-130 degrees.

4.      Remove the grilled swordfish to a serving platter with Salsa Verde on the side for saucing. Serve with your favorite side dish!





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