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David Lissner
for restaurants

Eat this! Swordfish, big and versatile

Gemini Bistro’s swordfish Provencal

Gemini Bistro’s swordfish Provencal

What it is: Weighing 200 to 600 pounds, the long-nosed swordfish (Xiphias gladius) is one of the largest commercially caught fish in the world. It has a firm, meaty texture and a rich mouthfeel. Its full yet mild flavor makes it a versatile culinary option. At Gemini Bistro in Lincoln Park, Chef Jason Paskewitz gives it a Provencal treatment with tomatoes and capers.

Jason Paskewitz

Jason Paskewitz

Where it comes from: A highly migratory species, swordfish travel throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. Resilient to overfishing, with its early age at maturity and moderate longevity, swordfish is considered a sustainable fish, with stocks particularly healthy in the Pacific. While Mediterranean swordfish are still of high concern to environmentalists, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch recommends U.S. harpoon and handline-caught swordfish from the Pacific and U.S. and Canadian harpoon and handline-caught swordfish from the Atlantic as Best Choices.

Xiphias gladius

What to do with it: Swordfish is best cooked lightly. Remove the tough and strong-tasting skin before cooking. Naturally high levels of mercury in swordfish probably mean you should eat the fish as only an occasional treat.

Gemini Bistro’s swordfish Provencal
Chef Jason Paskewitz

4 7-ounce swordfish fillets
Olive oil
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 12-ounce can imported peeled Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup sliced, pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves

Prepare a very hot fire in a barbecue grill or heat a ridged grill pan on the stove. Brush the swordfish fillets with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Grill the swordfish filets for 4 minutes on each side, turning it twice to achieve grill marks on the fish.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the sliced garlic and cook over low heat until slightly toasted/golden brown. Add the tomatoes and cook slowly for 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the olives and capers and remove from the heat. Season with parsley, basil and salt and pepper.

Serve the sauce over the swordfish and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. 4 servings.

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