Sicilian-Style Swordfish

By • July 13, 2010 • 26 Comments

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Author Notes: I was inspired to recreate this dish that I had on a recent trip to Sicily. The salt and brine from the capers and olives really complements the meatiness of the swordfish, while the sweet sun-dried tomatoes add an extra dimension of flavor. I also love that this dish can be served room temperature. - CucinettaNYCcucinettaNYC

Food52 Review: CucinettaNYC knows how to produce a powerful sauce with a mere handful of ingredients. She sautes onion and garlic, then whips off the heat and throws in some capers, olives and sundried tomatoes with a little wine, and the sauce is done. Then all you have to do is cook the swordfish, which she has you do in the same pan. A gold star for efficiency! - A&MThe Editors

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1/4 cup pitted oil-cured black olives coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers, well rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, preferably Sicilian
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • 4 x 6 ounces swordfish steaks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Basil, roughly torn for garnish
  1. In a large skillet (one wide enough to hold swordfish in a single layer), heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Add sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers, wine and generous pinch red pepper flakes; stir together. Transfer to bowl.
  4. Lightly season swordfish with salt and pepper; in a single layer, place fish in skillet.
  5. Return skillet to medium-high heat, cover and cook for 3 minutes per side.
  6. When swordfish is cooked through and browned, cover with sauce and warm.
  7. Sprinkle roughly torn basil and serve. This dish can also be served room temperature.

Tags: Italian, quick

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Comments (26) Questions (1)


27 days ago sunnycooksandhow

I loved this recipe! I cooked the swordfish for less than half the time specified here so it was still a bit rare in the middle. The sauce is fantastic albeit a bit on the decadent side with all the oil, both explicit and from the ingredients. Nonetheless the dish tastes great at the moment it's made and even better the next day since I packed leftovers for lunch. I am curious about what would happen if the sauce were pureed so that the different ingredient mesh a bit more together. Next time, I might lower the quantity of oily sundried tomatoes and add a bit of tomato paste instead so it's less greasy. Two thumbs up!


about 1 year ago Laurenzim

This was seriously delicious!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I made a bit more sauce than the recipe called for b/c it sounded so wonderful. I used much more wine and let it reduce and also cooked the capers and sun dried tomatoes in the sauce a bit so they could blend and warm. THANK YOU!!


over 2 years ago foodluvdc

I love puttanesca sauce and it seems perfect for this fish. Something sexy about swordfish!


over 3 years ago chop chop

This is a great recipe. Intense flavors and easy to prepare. Have made it several times.


about 4 years ago tenmiler

I think any recipe published here, one of my favorite food sites, should not push recipes that call for overfished fish, and Swordfish is a horrendously endangered species because of this. What a disappointment.


over 4 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

made this last night. however, I followed Wally's advice and tossed the sauce with some whole wheat fettuccine and served the swordfish on the side. I did cook the swordfish in the same pan I'd prepared the sauce, though. Everyone loved the combination, and the leftover pasta made a spectacular lunch today!


over 4 years ago irenehoydysh

What a perfect recipe! It was easy to follow and was so delicious!


over 4 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Congratulations (and glad to share the finalist spot too :-))- it looks fantastic and I will definitely give it a go with some oven-dried tomatoes!


over 4 years ago Wally

I made this tonight and, while the prep was delicious, it overwhelmed the pristine swordfish that it topped. Next time, I'm going to put the prep on top of some whole wheat penne and grill the swordfish separately.


over 4 years ago dymnyno

But, then you have not made the recipe if you don't put it on the fish...this is a swordfish contest...not a sauce contest.


over 4 years ago Midge

Sounds delish and I can't wait to try it.


over 4 years ago cucinettaNYC

Please do and let me know what you think.


over 4 years ago Midge

Made this for dinner the other night and loved it. Thanks so much cucinettaNYC.


over 4 years ago vova

A must try!


over 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations--great recipe!


over 4 years ago cucinettaNYC

Thank you!


over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Just LOVE everything about this! Congrats and good luck!! ;o)


over 4 years ago cucinettaNYC

Thank you and I hope you do give this recipe a try at home.


over 4 years ago cheese1227

The last place I ate swordfish was in Sicily over 18 months ago! Since it's getting more sustainable here, I look forward to attempting it once again with this sauce. Thanks!


over 4 years ago cucinettaNYC

I hope this dish brings back fond memories of Sicily. Enjoy!


over 4 years ago ron-val-ron

Am gonna try this grilling the swordfish and onions and roasting the garlic in the coals...


over 4 years ago cucinettaNYC

Bravo! Buon Appetito.


almost 5 years ago dymnyno

The briny capers and olives sound perfect for the meaty swordfish...I may try swordfish again!


almost 5 years ago cucinettaNYC

Absolutely! Give it a try and let me know how you like it! Red snapper also works.


almost 5 years ago SpecialDiet

Having spent every summer of my childhood in Messina with my Nonna and Nonno, I consider myself somewhat of an authority when it comes to traditional Sicilian cooking. This dish captures the essence of the quintessential Sicilian cucinetta.


almost 5 years ago alittleofthisalittleofthat

Fabulous! I can't wait to serve this to company this weekend. Simple, elegant, and room temp friendly? This is a winner for sure.