Grilled swordfish skewers with caponata recipe

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Swordfish has a robust taste all its own and needs costarring ingredients with just as much oomph. We decided to put the smoky flavor of the grill to work, threading swordfish pieces onto skewers and pairing them with a Sicilian-inspired grilled caponata a saucy mix of eggplant and tomatoes with a sweet-and-sour profile. As a base for the caponata, we grilled eggplant, cherry tomatoes, lemons, and scallions alongside the swordfish and added an aromatic blend of warm spices for a potent sauce to complement the fish. Once grilled, the lemons transformed from tart and acidic to sweet and rich. Rubbing the swordfish with a bit of ground coriander, salt, and pepper added complexity and provided flavor that popped with the tomato, scallions, and a final sprinkling of fresh basil. If swordfish isn’t available, you can substitute halibut. You will need six 12-inch metal skewers for this recipe.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 lemons, halved
  • 5 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1½ pounds skinless swordfish steaks, 1¼ to 1½ inches thick, cut into 1¼-inch pieces 12 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small eggplant (12 ounces), cut crosswise on bias into ½-inch-thick ovals
  • 6 scallions, trimmed
  • ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
How to Make It
  1. Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, honey, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons coriander, garlic, cumin, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in large bowl. Microwave, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute; set aside.
  2. Pat swordfish dry with paper towels, rub with remaining 1 tablespoon coriander, and season with salt and pepper. Thread fish onto three 12-inch metal skewers. Thread tomatoes onto three 12-inch metal skewers. Brush swordfish, tomatoes, eggplant, and scallions with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
  3. For a Charcoal
  4. Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
  5. For a Gas Grill
  6. Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.
  7. Clean cooking grate, then repeatedly brush grate with well-oiled paper towels until black and glossy, 5 to 10 times. Place swordfish, tomatoes, eggplant, scallions, and lemon halves on grill. Cook (covered if using gas), turning as needed, until swordfish flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife and registers 140 degrees and tomatoes, eggplant, scallions, and lemon halves are softened and lightly charred, 5 to 15 minutes. Transfer items to serving platter as they finish grilling and tent with aluminum foil. Let swordfish rest while finishing caponata.
  8. Once lemons are cool enough to handle, squeeze into fine-mesh strainer set over bowl, extracting as much juice as possible. Add juice to spiced oilhoney mixture; whisk to combine and stir in olives.
  9. Using tongs, slide tomatoes off skewers onto cutting board. Chop tomatoes, eggplant, and scallions coarse; transfer to bowl with caponata; and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove swordfish from skewers, sprinkle with basil, and serve with caponata.

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