A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Swordfish Provencal

We had a nicely balanced meal last night of baked swordfish with a tomato and herb sauce, acorn squash, and roasted cauliflower, with fresh blackberries and cream for dessert.

Here is the recipe loosely based on Julia Child's tuna recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Also included is a typical picture of the kitchen in mid-preparation.

Swordfish Provencal

1 pound piece of swordfish (I cut mine in half horizontally because I don't like to cook a thick hunk for a long time)
Lemon juice
Olive oil
White vermouth
Garlic, salt, pepper

Marinate the fish in a little lemon, oil, vermouth, and crushed garlic to freshen, about a half hour. Discard marinade.

Film a skillet with olive oil and sear the swordfish for about 2 minutes per side. Remove fish to a baking dish.

Olive oil
1 sliced onion
2 cloves garlic
2 or 3 fresh chopped tomatoes or canned equivalent
1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano and thyme
Salt and pepper
Dry white wine or vermouth

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except wine and cook and stir for 5 more minutes.

Pour the sauce over the fish. Pour about 1/2 cup of the wine around the fish, cover (or tent loosely with foil) and bake at 400 degrees until fish is cooked through. This can be only about 10 minutes for thin pieces, 20 minutes or more for a thick steak.

Remove fish to a serving platter, or drain sauce off to a skillet, and boil to reduce sauce to a pleasing consistency. Add salt and pepper if necessary. Pour sauce over fish and garnish with parsley if you like.


Eva said...


I never buy swordfish -- it always looks gray and sketchy in the fish case. What should it look like?

Kris said...

It does take some experience to pick out swordfish. It doesn't glisten like flakier fish does. It should be firm and dense in texture; older swordfish that has been thawed has a dull, porous look to it. It can be pinkish or beige. Julia child's recommendation of asking to smell it is helpful.

Even quite fresh swordfish tastes less fishy with a short marination (is that a word?) in something acidic.