French Friday’s with Dorie –
This Grilled Swordfish with Parsley Herb Salad (prepared and presented here as part of our French Friday’s with Dorie project) is exactly the type of dish I seek out to add to our weeknight menu planner. The preparation has all of the simple panache of a restaurant entrée but with enough ease of preparation to allow you to get on the table in mere minutes.
If swordfish weren’t so damn expensive I would say it was perfect Monday through Friday fare. Unfortunately, the rising food prices of desirable foods such as grilled swordfish is what keeps me trotting off to work each morning, Monday through Friday, so I can continue to enjoy them.
When I see grilled swordfish these days on the menu it gives me something of a “vintage food” vibe (although perhaps not quite as ‘vintage’ our recent Retro-tastic ™ Pie Plate Salad .) I recall the days when a thick cut of swordfish steak wasn’t the extravagance it is today and, in fact, it was as inexpensive as it was ubiquitous on restaurant menus. Here in Southern California the ideal cut had it served as a baseball sized, thick chunk (think steakhouse style filet mignon) and not as the budget conscious slices preferred by more conservation-minded (and sensible) Europeans.
A good, fresh swordfish needs very little help. All that is really needed is a light oiling and dusting of herbs before grilling or, even better, a light lemon-y herbed marinade soak, especially if the cut is at all thick. Back-in-the-day restaurant menus would frequently feature swordfish topped with copious amounts of chunky, fruity, cilantro-y, “haute cuisine” salsa mixtures that would all but take over the plate and palate. (I worked at one restaurant in the early eighties that claimed it was “famous” for its “Swordfish Veracruz”. As good as it was (and it was!) there was no ability to actually taste the fish itself. We were all sure chef had gleaned it from the many Old El Paso Recipes he must have found featured on the back of salsa jars or Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese wrappers. See “ vintage cooking “.)
Grilled Swordfish with Parsley Herb Salad
The fish shines here with a perfect amount of flavoring and ‘sauce’ and never once gets too aggressive or threatening. Rosemary, lemons, capers, piment d’espelette, olive oil and that’s it. Marinate a couple hours or all day if you can but 30 minutes is a minimum. Dorie’s has a winner here with this easy grilled swordfish preparation.
Original Recipe found here at The Orange County Register
This is what you will need:
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- About 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 4 teaspoons caper juice (from the jar)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons for sautéing, divided use
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Big pinch of piment d'Espelette or dried red pepper flakes
- Teensy pinch of sugar
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, divided use
- 4 swordfish steaks, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, about 5 ounces each. Larger cuts can be easily cut after cooking however
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves (from 1 big bunch parsley)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed mixed fresh herb leaves, such as oregano, marjoram, tarragon (just a little), thyme (also just a little) and chervil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
This is how you make it:
- Whisk all ingredients for fish except the 2 teaspoons rosemary and the fish in a nonreactive, 9-by-13-inch baking dish where the steaks can be laid down in a single layer. Similarly you can put them in a Zip-lock plastic bag and shake them around to mix. Put fish in pan (or bag) and turn it so that it is well coated with marinade. Cover with plastic or seal in bag and marinate, turning it a couple of times for a minimum of 30 minutes at room temperature. (Fish can marinate up to 4-8 hours in the refrigerator but bring to room temperature before proceeding.)
- Make the salad by toss all herbs together in a bowl. Dress the salad with the lemon juice and oil just before serving.
- Heat outdoor grill or grill pan to medium high and prepare grates for grilling.
- Remove fish from marinade and scrape any ingredients that have stuck to the fish back into the marinade; reserve marinade. Using paper towels, lightly pat fish dry.
- When the grill is hot and lightly oiled, put fish on the grates to sear. Cook for 3-4 minutes depending on thickness and then carefully turn fish and cook for 3-4 more minutes on other side. You want the fish to be opaque in the center – swordfish is not one of those fish best served rare. Make a small cut in the center of the fish to check for doneness; depending on the thickness of your fish, you many need to cook it a little longer. Transfer fish to a platter and cover loosely.
- Heat the reserved marinade in a microwave oven or in a small saucepan over medium heat until it's hot but not boiling. Drizzle it over swordfish and sprinkle with the reserved 2 teaspoons minced rosemary. Top each piece of fish with a little mound of salad. Or vice-verse.
On another exciting note, I’m still on cloud nine since learning that Sis Boom Blog walked off with Best of Show at the 2013 Orange County Fair this year. I haven’t yet been ‘on site’ but my spies were nice enough check out the judges display of the category winners and then send me pictures and tweets to share with me the good news. I am particularly proud that the Coeur à la Crème post (also for French Friday’s with Dorie ) won for the Blog Post: Memoir or Personal Story category because, well, that is what I try to do here. Mostly.
I imagine this is how Moses felt:
This Grilled Swordfish with Parsley Herb Salad was an assignment for French Friday’s with Dorie, a cooking group working its way through Dorie Greenspan’s culinary tome “ Around My French Table” . We generally avoid including the recipes in our posts. However, wherever there has been a significant adaptation by me or where the recipe has already been publicly posted by Ms. Greenspan or her publishers or by hundreds of other bloggers I will either include it here (only when adapted) or provide a direct link to it. Please feel free to contact me via the link provided on my page if you need any assistance finding a French Friday with Dorie Recipe. You should buy the book though.
It will change your life as it has mine.