Swordfish alla Siciliana

Swordfish has been on of the most popular fish in Sicily  and teh rest of the Med for a long time, so much so that it is now at risk with overfishing in the whole Mediterranean!

It is often associated to Sicilian cuisine as we have many traditional recipes for it.  In my cooking classes people often expect me to cook with this wonderful fish, but I usually avoid it hoping not to contribute any further to the disaster. Some swordfish can be sustainable, depending on where it was caught and what fishing technique was used. 

Even in the North Atlantic stocks had been almost completely depleted by overfishing, but in 1998 the Natural Resources Defense Council and SeaWeb, launched the campaign Give Swordfish a Break  calling for restrictions on fishing to allow the stocks to regenerate. In August 2000 the campaign was officially ended and in 2002, swordfish populations in the North Atlantic were declared to have reached 94% of full recovery. 

The one below is  a recipe I shared with one of my guests who comes from an area of the US where they can easily get sustaible swordfish. This is why, as an exception to my rules, the recipe is in ounces and not in grams.

4 slices swordfish (about 5 ounces each)

2 ounces stale bread, cut or torn into 1-inch pieces

5 sundried tomatoes

5 almonds

10 mint leaves

3 tbsp wild fennel fronds (you can use parsley if you cannot get fennel)

salt and pepper

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Place the bread, almonds, sundried tomatoes, mint and fennel fronds into a food processor or a blender carafe, cover and pulse until coarse crumbs form, about 2-3 minutes. Add a spoon of olive oil to bind the mixture without letting it become soggy. Coat each slice of swordfish with extra virgin olive oil (about a tbsp for each slice) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.Preheat the oven to 360°F. Spoon the breadcrumbs mixture over each piece of fish and bake until lightly browned for 15-20 minutes .

Written on
October 18, 2017
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