One of the best, and easiest ways to prepare swordfish, or any dense, meaty fish is this method by Simply Recipes contributor Hank Shaw. Enjoy! ~Elise
Swordfish is a cornerstone food throughout the Mediterranean, and this Spanish recipe may be one of the finest ways to cook sword anywhere. The meaty fish, smoked paprika, pine nuts, garlic and parsley all meld into a rich, savory dish that takes you right to the sunny shores of the Costa Brava in Catalonia.
I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t swordfish endangered? No. Or at least it’s not endangered anywhere around the United States. The various fish watchdog organizations all give consumers the green light to eat as much swordfish as they want, provided it was caught in North American or Hawaiian waters. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch gives American sword either a “best choice” or “good alternative” rating, depending on how it’s caught.
If you’ve never worked with swordfish, it is dense and meaty. It also has an inedible rubbery skin that must be removed. When shopping for sword, pay attention to the bloodline, that red patch of meat in the steak. It should be red. If it is brown, the fish is old.
Good alternatives to swordfish, if you can’t find it, are farm-raised sturgeon, yellowfin tuna or albacore, tilefish, mahi mahi or even shrimp. I often use leopard shark I catch myself, but many commercially caught sharks are not faring well, so I don’t recommend you buy shark for this or any other dish.
This is a recipe that comes together very fast, so have everything you need ready.
Serve with crusty bread and either a crisp white wine, a dry rose or a glass of ice cold, very dry fino sherry.
You will need to use a Roma or other paste tomato for this recipe. Regular tomatoes are too watery.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound swordfish or other firm, white fish
- Flour for dusting
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 Tbsp white wine
- 4 Roma or other paste tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
- Black pepper
1 Remove the skin from the swordfish and cut it into cubes. Salt the fish well and dust the cubes in flour. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan large enough to hold all the swordfish chunks in one layer. Sear them well on at least two sides. Give the first side 1-2 minutes, then sear other sides for 30 seconds to 1 minute each.
2 When the swordfish is cooked, remove it to a bowl and reserve. Add the garlic slices and sauté 30 seconds or so — the second it begins to brown, add the tomatoes, parsley, white wine, pine nuts and paprika. Toss to combine and cook 1 minute, then add the swordfish back to the pan, toss to combine and cook another 30 seconds or so. Serve at once.