Originally Published: January 27, 2015

Though I love to cook and am always up for trying out new recipes (whether it be homemade gelato or pizza from scratch) I’ve realized I usually gravitate towards recipes for pasta, risotto and dessert. While my repertoire of carbohydrate-based dishes is ever expanding, this tendency has left me slightly unbalanced as a cook. When I happen to prepare a secondo at home, it is usually made with meat — I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve prepared seafood. Which brings us to today’s post! Seafood is not something I usually cook or eat — I imagine this is because we rarely ate seafood at home when I was growing up, and besides, I’d always assumed fish was something that people on a diet had to eat, a bland dish in desperate need of a lemon wedge on the side or some butter and breadcrumbs to spruce it up.

I changed my mind about seafood recently when on a whim I decided to try out this recipe for swordfish, if just to get out of my culinary comfort zone for a bit. The interesting mix of ingredients did not disappoint: the olives, tomatoes and onion contrast beautifully with the sweet raisins, and the pine nuts give the dish a nice texture and another layer of flavor. I’m pleased to say that this dish is every bit as satisfying and filling as my usual primo, not to mention a bit lighter and more nutritious than pasta. The recipe I initially came across for this dish called for baccala’, or salt cod, but since that is harder to come by in countries other than Italy, I’ve substituted swordfish – feel free to use any kind of dense fish you like though. Enjoy!

tomato-sauce-pine-nuts-raisins-olives
Tomatoes, pine nuts, olives and raisins – a perfect match for fish!

Italian Swordfish Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 30 g (1 ounce) of raisins
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) white wine
  • Olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 500 g (3 cups) of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 50 ml (1 tablespoon) water
  • 4 swordfish fillets, about ½ – ¾ inch thick, skin removed
  • 45 g (1 ½ ounces) of pine nuts, toasted
  • 70 g (1/2 cup) pitted black olives, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley, chopped

Directions:

Begin making your sauce by soaking the raisins in the white wine for half an hour, then removing them from the wine and put both aside. In a large skillet, heat some olive oil and cook the onion until it is softened and translucent. Add the cherry tomatoes and let them cook until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cloves of garlic and let it cook until it is lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the bit of water to the onion and garlic mixture and stir everything around, just so the sauce doesn’t dry out.

Heat oil in a separate large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, season the fish with salt and pepper, and add to pan. Cook, flipping once, until golden brown outside and medium rare inside, about three minutes total. Transfer fish to a plate to rest and set aside.

Add the wine that you have soaked the raisins in to the skillet with the onion, tomatoes, and garlic. Let the wine cook off and reduce, about three minutes. Next, add the raisins, toasted pine nuts and olives to the skillet. Make some room for the swordfish and add it in. Cover the pan with its lid. Let everything continue to cook for a few minutes more, or until the swordfish is cooked throughout.

At this point you can taste the dish and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove the cloves of garlic. Serve the swordfish right away topped with the tomato sauce and garnished with chopped parsley. Serves 4.

This Italian food recipe was adapted from www.giallozafferano.it

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