One-Pot Wonders

Sicilian-Style Swordfish

July 13, 2010
5 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Serves 4
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. - CucinettaNYC —cucinettaNYC

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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, coarsely chopped
  • 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.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Adrienne
  • Laurenzim
  • ChefJune
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • Midge

27 Reviews

Adrienne April 10, 2017
This dish is simple and amazing. Perfect for a quick dinner in or unexpected guest. I used a dry Sauvignon Blanc with excellent results. I had to use sun dried tomatoes sans oil and didn't notice any difference. Make won't regret it!
sunnycooksandhow March 24, 2015
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!
Laurenzim March 11, 2014
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!!
foodluvdc July 27, 2012
I love puttanesca sauce and it seems perfect for this fish. Something sexy about swordfish!
chop C. January 9, 2012
This is a great recipe. Intense flavors and easy to prepare. Have made it several times.
tenmiler April 2, 2011
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.
ChefJune July 26, 2010
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!
irenehoydysh July 25, 2010
What a perfect recipe! It was easy to follow and was so delicious!
Kitchen B. July 25, 2010
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!
Wally July 24, 2010
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.
dymnyno July 26, 2010
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.
Midge July 23, 2010
Sounds delish and I can't wait to try it.
cucinettaNYC July 23, 2010
Please do and let me know what you think.
Midge August 30, 2010
Made this for dinner the other night and loved it. Thanks so much cucinettaNYC.
vova July 23, 2010
A must try!
drbabs July 22, 2010
Congratulations--great recipe!
cucinettaNYC July 23, 2010
Thank you!
AntoniaJames July 22, 2010
Just LOVE everything about this! Congrats and good luck!! ;o)
cucinettaNYC July 23, 2010
Thank you and I hope you do give this recipe a try at home.
cheese1227 July 22, 2010
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!
cucinettaNYC July 23, 2010
I hope this dish brings back fond memories of Sicily. Enjoy!
ron-val-ron July 22, 2010
Am gonna try this grilling the swordfish and onions and roasting the garlic in the coals...
cucinettaNYC July 23, 2010
Bravo! Buon Appetito.
dymnyno July 14, 2010
The briny capers and olives sound perfect for the meaty swordfish...I may try swordfish again!
cucinettaNYC July 14, 2010
Absolutely! Give it a try and let me know how you like it! Red snapper also works.
SpecialDiet July 13, 2010
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.
Fabulous! I can't wait to serve this to company this weekend. Simple, elegant, and room temp friendly? This is a winner for sure.