Swordfish steaks are a favourite on the grill. Their dense, meaty flesh keeps the steaks from falling apart. When developing our recipe, our first step was to choose thicker steaks, since thinner steaks overcooked easily. Since they can stay on the grill longer, the thicker steaks also pick up more smoky flavour.
We found it was important to leave the fish in place long enough that it developed good grill marks before moving it. A two-level fire was necessary so the fish could sear over the hot fire and then cook through on the cooler part of the grill.
A piquant Italian salsa verde made from parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, lemon, and olive oil was perfect with the grilled swordfish. A slice of sandwich bread pureed into the sauce kept the flavours balanced and gave the sauce body. Toasting the bread rid it of excess moisture that would otherwise make for a gummy sauce.
GRILLED SWORDFISH STEAKS WITH SALSA VERDE
Start to finish: 1 hour
Because of the shape and size of swordfish, individual steaks are quite large. This recipe serves four—or more, if you want to cut the steaks into smaller pieces. Salsa verde is best served immediately after it is made, but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring the sauce to room temperature and stir to recombine it before serving.
Salsa verde:1 large slice hearty white sandwich bread
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
2 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
Fish:2 (1-pound) skin-on swordfish steaks, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Toast bread in toaster at lowest setting until surface is dry but not browned, about 15 seconds. Remove crust and cut bread into rough 1/2-inch pieces (you should have about 1/2 cup).
Process bread pieces, oil, and lemon juice in food processor until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, and salt. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped (mixture should not be smooth), about 5 pulses, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula after 3 pulses. Transfer mixture to small bowl and set aside.
‚Äî For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour two-thirds evenly over half of grill, then pour remaining coals over other half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
‚Äî For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn other burner(s) to medium-high.
Cut swordfish steaks in half to make 4 equal pieces. Brush fish with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Clean cooking grate, then repeatedly brush grate with well-oiled paper towels until black and glossy, 5 to 10 times. Place swordfish on hotter part of grill and cook uncovered, turning once (using metal spatula) until steaks are streaked with dark grill marks, 6 to 9 minutes. Move swordfish to cooler part of grill and cook, uncovered, turning once, until centre is no longer translucent and swordfish registers 140 F, 3 to 6 minutes. Top each portion of grilled swordfish with generous tablespoon of salsa and serve immediately with lemon wedges.