Sicilian Swordfish Steaks | The Daily Dish

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Sicilian Swordfish Steaks

5 Comments | Written on November 29, 2012 at 12:00 am , by

It’s hard to believe that only a month ago I was whisked away to the island of Sicily, half a world away from my life in Los Angeles.  I had no idea what to expect, but I quickly found Sicily to be overflowing with old-world charm, warmth, and a genuine feeling of family.

Keep reading for a trip back in time to old-world Sicilia…

The charm of Sicily is different than the rest of Italy.  It is simultaneously louder and yet quieter and slower than the mainland.  The Catania airport is notoriously chaotic, with luggage difficulties more of a rule than the exception.  Here, we saw young adults dressed more like the Jersey Shore than Emporio Armani.

Yet, after a two hour drive from the city into the country side, we saw this…

It was calm and quiet.  The sun was a perfect golden yellow.  I could smell the grapes fermenting in the winery and somewhere in the distance I could hear a grandma cooing and giggling with her newborn grandchild. Here at Feudo Principi di Butera it felt like maybe not much had changed since the Brancinforte dynasty owned this property in the 18th century.

In this peaceful place, I was thankful for not only a great nights sleep, but for a bit of residual jet lag that woke me up just in time for the sunrise over the rolling hills.

Everything was idyllic.  From the lace curtains, to squeaky opening of the green shutters.   Even a patron saint watching over our beds as we slept and guiding us into the day ahead.

Here at the estate, the Zonin family aims to celebrate the unique terroir of the island.  The warm, dry climate, along with a sea breeze and strong sunlight, optimize the development and perfect ripening of the grapes.   This rich land produces world class wines which express the full force and soul of Sicily.

One of my favorite discoveries was the 2010 Fuedo Principi di Butera Insolia, sourced from the estate vineyards.  Insolia is an indigenous grape grown in Sicily.  In the past insolia was one of the grapes used in making Marsala fortified wine, and today it is commonly used to make single varietal wines.  If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, give Insolia a try.  I think you will soon love it as much as I do.

 The Insolia has a slightly nutty flavor with a finish that is a combination of sweet fruit and sour citrus.  It is perfect for sipping on its own or pairing with a meal.  Swordfish is a key ingredient in southern Italian and Sicilian cuisine, so I decided to use this fish in a recipe to pair with the Insolia.

After my visit, I was inspired to get back into the kitchen and create a meal using Italian ingredients. I created this recipe for “Swordfish Steaks with Raisin-Olive Salsa” as a way to remember the colors, flavors and textures of the trip.  I found the subtle sweetness in the wine balances well with the brine of the olives in the salsa.  This recipe and wine pairing is an impressive yet easy to prepare option for entertaining any time of year.  Even in the cold winter months this meal will be an instant passport back to the warm Italian sun!

Swordfish Steaks with Sicilian Raisin-Olive Salsa

Sicilian Raisin-Olive Salsa:

2/3 cup Dark Raisins

2/3 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1/3 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives

1/3 cup coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

1-1/2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1-1/2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

1-1/2 Tablespoons chopped celery leaves

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/8 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Swordfish Steaks:

4 swordfish steaks, about 6-7 ounces each, 1/2″ thickness

1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Extra olive oil for drizzling (optional)

Garnish:  Fresh basil or parsley sprigs

1. For Salsa:  Combine all Raisin-Olive Salsa ingredients in a medium serving bowl.  Stir to coat all ingredients.  Set aside while grilling swordfish.

2. Prepare outdoor grill.  Rub the swordfish steaks with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Place on hot grill and cook about 2 minutes per side; tuna should still be slightly pink.  Right before taking off grill brush each with some balsamic vinegar on both sides.

3. Place steaks on individual serving plates along with the salsa.  Garnish with fresh basil or parsley sprig and serve.  If desired, additional olive oil can be drizzled over swordfish.  Serves 4.

5 Responses to “Sicilian Swordfish Steaks”

  • 1
    Lisa Keys says:

    So beautiful. Makes me want to go find my roots.

  • 2
    Camille Sanabria says:

    I loved your story and it made me think of my own trip to Sicily in October 2010. I also didn’t know what to expect, but shortly after we arrived, I felt home. The sites and smells of this wonderful place reminded me of my Nauni. I could certainly hear her voice in every kitchen and restaurant we visited. It is a trip worth repeating over and over.

  • 3
    Wanita says:

    Ciao! Nice recipe. I’m an American living in Sicily (my husband is Sicilian) and I love living here =) Be sure to check out some of my recipes! anamericaninsicily.com Buona giornata!

  • 4

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