Seared Swordfish with Tomato-Saffron Coulis

By • July 11, 2010 • 13 Comments

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Author Notes: Really great fresh seafood doesn't need much adornment - a squeeze of citrus, a fresh, bright salsa, or a simple sauce is generally all you need in my book. I love swordfish and tomatoes together, and came up with this dish as a way to use up some imperfect but still tasty heirloom tomatoes I brought home from the farmers' market. I used a mixture of red and yellow-fleshed varieties; feel free to use whatever tomatoes strike your fancy (and keep in mind that particularly wrinkly ones will be more difficult to peel). - lastnightsdinnerlastnightsdinner

Food52 Review: If it's possible to fall in love with a recipe, call me smitten. I hadn't eaten swordfish in about twenty-five years, until a photo of this caught my eye, as did the appealing sauce. We were not disappointed! The saffron and sherry vinegar made the tomato sauce flavors "pop" and the tomatoes pair so well with the meaty fish. It is a beautiful dish, one that I will make again with our local halibut, a more reasonable choice for us here in San Diego. Meanwhile, if this were my recipe, I would turn around and submit it to the heirloom week theme. This is a winner. –LizthechefA&M

Serves 4

  • 4 swordfish steaks, about 5-6 oz. each
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • grapeseed oil
  • 1.5 pounds fresh tomatoes, preferably heirloom
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • a big pinch of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
  • finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  1. Trim the swordfish steaks to remove any bloodlines. Pat them dry and refrigerate, uncovered, for about an hour before cooking.
  2. Cut an “x” in the bottom end of each tomato. Briefly blanch the tomatoes in boiling, salted water and shock them in an ice bath. When cool enough to handle, core, peel, and seed them, then cut them into chunks.
  3. Place the tomatoes in a blender, add the shallot and garlic, and puree until smooth.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a small, shallow pan over medium-low heat. Add the saffron, crumbling it with your fingers, and toast in the oil until fragrant. Remove from heat and carefully pour it into the tomato puree. Whiz the mixture in the blender again to incorporate, then pour the mixture out into the pan. Warm over medium heat until slightly reduced.
  5. Season the swordfish steaks with salt on both sides. Add a thin film of grapeseed oil to the bottom of a skillet and warm over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the swordfish steaks two at a time and sauté until browned and just cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
  6. Stir the sherry vinegar into the coulis, season with salt to taste, and divide the sauce among four plates. Place the seared swordfish steaks on top, and finish with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley.
Jump to Comments (13)

Tags: can be made ahead, Easy, quick, Swordfish, tomatoes

Comments (13) Questions (1)

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almost 3 years ago sword fish

oh .........how amazing.....from simple to elegant....

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about 4 years ago adamnsvetcooking

We made this for dinner on Friday. It was delicious. We very much enjoyed making the tomato saffron coulis.

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about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Thanks, I'm so glad you liked it!

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about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Looking forward to testing your recipe this weekend. My fish market finally got the wild, sustainable stuff in stock.

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about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Thanks, Liz - I hope you enjoy it!

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about 4 years ago ENunn

This makes my mouth water, literally. I just ate dinner! How is that possible? It is.

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about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Aw, thank you :)

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about 4 years ago healthierkitchen

Lovely!! This might even make a swordfish eater out of my husband.

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about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Thanks - let me know if it works ;)

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about 4 years ago meredithhimelfarb

I love saffron but never seem to use it when I cook! Saving this one!

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about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Thank you! I think saffron and seafood work particularly well together :)

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about 4 years ago dymnyno

Wow...great recipe and fabulous photo....youv'e really drawn first blood with this one!

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about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Thank you!