Weeknights with Jenny

Grilled Swordfish with Lemon and Caper Sauce

By • June 17, 2013 • 13 Comments

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Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Today: A fast and elegant fish dish, the best of the weeknight world. 

Grilled Swordfish

I don’t often buy swordfish, and when I do, I tend to simply grill it with some salt and pepper and add a dash of lemon. Once in a while I get fancy with some Italian-style preparation, like Sicilian-Style Swordfish which employs sundried tomatoes and capers. 

My new fave, Grilled Swordfish with Lemon and Caper Sauce, sort of splits the difference between minimalism and Italian-influenced with a week night meal that is ready in less than 30 minutes. 

I made this with a heavy pound of swordfish, which is enough for two adults and two kids if they don’t eat a lot. I halved only the butter and the capers because I like to have sauce at my disposal. 

I love this whole-lemon approach to things -- just be sure you get the pith off well and watch them come together nicely in the butter with the capers. From here ChefJune wants you to put your fish on the grill; I used a grill pan and cooked my fish while my sauce was going so the whole thing could be done in about 10 minutes.  

This is fast and eloquent, the best of a weeknight world. 

Grilled Swordfish with Lemon and Caper Sauce by ChefJune

Serves 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large lemon, peeled, cut crosswise into 8 1/4" slices, seeded, with all the juice
2 tablespoons drained nonpareil capers
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
3 swordfish steaks cut 1 1/4-inch thick (about 1 pound each)
3 tablespoons (very green) extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley for garnish

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photo by James Ransom

Tags: jenny, jennys in the kitchen, fish, grill, grilling, swordfish, grilled fish, summer, everyday cooking

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Comments (13)


almost 2 years ago Erin Yun

What do you serve with this dish?


almost 2 years ago moseceltic

Have you tried this with halibut? In addition to the sustainability issues with swordfish, I like to limit its consumption because of mercury concentrations...


almost 2 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

moseceltic brings up an important point and one I had intended to mention myself, that being mercury levels in swordfish. Halibut, and cod (black cod aka sablefish) make good substitutes. Skate, if you can find it, also would work with this recipe.


almost 2 years ago moseceltic

Thanks for the quick response!


almost 2 years ago dymnyno

It looks so delicious! I haven't eaten swordfish since I read Anthony Bourdain's first book.


almost 2 years ago carswell

I made a sauce very similar to this a couple of weeks ago to go with some grilled pickerel. I may have to get some swordfish and try that combination.


almost 2 years ago Jestei



almost 2 years ago amysarah

This looks so delicious. I do a similar sauce for grilled swordfish (though I use olive oil, with a couple of anchovies melted into it along with the capers.) But I usually squeeze in the lemon juice - love ChefJune's idea of throwing the pieces in for lots of lemon flavor. Doing that from now on!


almost 2 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Practically nothing tastes better than swordfish on the grill. Do exercise caution in purchasing. Seafood Watch consider US methods in both the Atlantic and Pacific to be your best choices (in particular, harpoon and handline). Keep in mind that we get a tremendous amount of seafood from Asia. Gill nets are still in wide use and result in a lot of by-catch. Consider the Chinese practice of "shark finning".


almost 2 years ago Jestei

I buy my fish at the farmer's market. It's local and I am fine with it.


almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

So glad to see this lovely simple recipe featured, congrats Chef June. This is the perfect way to get a great tasty meal on the table tout suite!


almost 2 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks. It's one of my favorites, and I haven't made it in a while. If I weren't playing Meatless Monday, I'd be heading over to the fishmarket after work for some swordfish... Tomorrow... :)


almost 2 years ago Jestei

It's a great dish!!!!!!