Grilled Swordfish with Ratatouille

When I saw swordfish on sale at the market, I knew what we were going to have for dinner. I love swordfish, but it is often hard to get it fresh (frozen means it will be dry) and for a reasonable price. Swordfish is very meaty with a mild fish flavor. I served with ratatouille and brown rice for a tasty and wholesome meal. Ratatouille is a vegetable dish from the Provence (south of France) with eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, garlic, rosemary or thyme, and sometimes bell peppers (which I omitted this time around).

When preparing swordfish, it is very important not to overcook it. The difference between tender and juicy swordfish and tough and dry swordfish is just a minute of overcooking. To work around this problem, you can cook the swordfish sous-vide and then only very briefly finish it on a very hot griddle, like I did. If you skip the sous-vide step, an instant read thermometer with a probe would be helpful.

Ingredients

For 2 servings

300 grams (.66 lb) swordfish fillet, without skin and cut into two steaks of about 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick

2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary needles

6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 eggplant

1 zucchini

1 onion, chopped

400 grams (14 oz) of chopped tomatoes, fresh or from a can

lemon wedges, for serving

boiled rice or potatoes roasted with garlic and rosemary, for serving

Instructions

In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of minced rosemary with a minced garlic clove and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Season the swordfish with salt and freshly ground black pepper on all sides. Then rub with the rosemary mixture.

If cooking sous-vide, vacuum seal.

Allow the swordfish to marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours in the refrigerator.

While the swordfish is marinating, make the ratatouille. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan or casserole and add a chopped onion. Season with salt. Stir over medium heat until the onion starts to turn golden.

Add the remaining minced clove of garlic and tablespoon of minced rosemary. Stir briefly over medium heat, but do not let the garlic turn brown.

Add an eggplant cut into pieces and season with salt. To do this, cut off both ends, cut the eggplant in quarters lengthwise, and then cut each quarter into slices.

Stir for a couple of minutes until the eggplant is covered with the oil.

Cover the pan while you prepare the zucchini.

Cut both ends off the zucchini, cut it in quarters lengthwise, and cut the quarters into slices. Just like the eggplant, this will ensure that each piece of zucchini has a bit of skin. Add the zucchini to the eggplant. Stir and cover.

Cook over medium heat, covered, stirring regularly, for about 15 minutes.

When the eggplant and zucchini are almost cooked through, add 400 grams of chopped tomatoes.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.

Simmer the ratatouille until the tomatoes have thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring regularly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, cook the swordfish sous-vide for 20 to 30 minutes at 50C/122F. (You can skip this step if you don’t have sous-vide equipment.)

After cooking sous-vide, take the sworfish out of the bag and scrape away the rosemary and garlic from the top and bottom side. (If you don’t do that, the garlic and rosemary will burn on the grill.) Rub both sides lightly with olive oil.

If the swordfish has been cooked sous-vide, sear it on a very hot griddle for about 30 seconds or until it has nice grill marks.

If it has not been cooked sous-vide, cook it on a hot griddle (but not very hot) for 2 to 3 minutes. The heat should be such that after those 2 to 3 minutes there are nice grill marks.

Turn the swordfish and cook the same way on the other side. With sous-vide it is easy, if cooking from raw it is best to cook until an instant read thermometer with the probe inserted in the center of one of the swordfish steaks indicates a core temperature of 50C/122F.

Wrap the swordfish in aluminum foil and allow it to rest while you prepare the plates.

Serve the swordfish with rice (or roasted potatoes), the ratatouille, and a lemon wedge.

Wine pairing

Because the swordfish is so meaty, it can handle a full-bodied white. The grill marks work very well with a wine that has been aged in oak, like this Chardonnay from Limoux. This wine has a great balance with good acidity that works well with the lemon juice as well. A good white Burgundy, which is very similar to this Limoux but more expensive, would also be a great choice.

 

12 thoughts on “Grilled Swordfish with Ratatouille

  1. I will try this soon beca use I also love swordfish. However, I would be interested in fewer sous video preparations. It’s not just that I don’t have a sous video machine, but I also admire Stefan’s skills and would like to follow his lead more often.

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  2. I serve swordfish and ratatouille together too, a great combination. Stefan there seems to be an error with most of your preparation photos. WP know there should be an image in the space but it’s not sourcing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautifully yum!! Methinks brown rice, however much I do love it, is almost extraneous! The lemon wedge will do]

    PS Reading Sandra’s above, I am getting all the photos she is missing, and from Australia – BUT: I had to repeat a comment twice from AU>US this morning with no mistake made . . . what does cursing WordPress achieve 🙂 ?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Stefan, we like swordfish since long times we traveled the Mediterranean. Just out of the sea direct on your table.
    Found a nice piece today and of course I first checked on stefangourmet.com.
    It was rather amazing to go not further than 50C in the sous vide!
    The “meat” was so much juicier than we were used to.
    The structure wasn’t that tight as normally pan fried, although I always took care not to overcook.
    Probably the proteins stay just before the coagulation phase.
    Really perfect!
    Thanks again,
    Frans

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Frans, yes swordfish is one of those fishes that you can cook ‘medium rare’ with sous vide for outstanding results. It is important to salt the fish some time before sous vide cooking (as is done in this recipe). Glad you liked it!

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        1. Hi Frans,
          My favorite fish sous vide is sea bass fillet cooked sous vide 10-15 minutes at 48C and then pan fried briefly on the skin only. The combination of tender juicy flesh with crispy skin is amazing. More details here: https://stefangourmet.com/2011/12/19/perfect-sous-vide-seabass/
          I also like to use sous vide for turbot (10-15 minutes at 50C for fillets) or salmon (30 minutes at 46C).
          https://stefangourmet.com/2012/01/14/turbot-and-white-asparagus-sous-vide-with-hollandaise-sauce/
          https://stefangourmet.com/2020/05/02/miso-cured-salmon-sous-vide/

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          1. Hi Stefan, thanks for the suggestions. It’s funny, just yesterday I found this large dourade and checked your site. Was in doubt to take of the fillets and go your way sous vide or stuff it and cook it in the oven…
            We went for the oven, Asian style and got a great meal as well.
            But we also wondered if you could vacuum the entire fish and cook sous vide? For a good traditional fish stew in the Mediterranean, they often add the entire fish in the pot…
            But maybe it gets messy? Certainly will try the sea bass fillets next time.
            Just another question as well; where did you buy your citrus hystrix? How often you can harvest the kaffir limes? Do they grow in one year time and come back next year?
            Regards,
            Frans

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Hi Frans, if you would like to cool a whole daurade (sea bream) sous vide, then I’d recommend to remove the innards and stuff the cavity with something like lemon wedges and garlic to be able to vacuum seal the fish. Because of the additional thickness, you will need a longer cooking time (my usual table applies). Something like 1 hour at 50C/122F. I prefer sea bass over daurade because the skin of daurade is difficult to get crispy because it is so thin, and because daurade is so lean (even with sous vide it can appear dry because of that).
              I ordered the citrus hystrix from directplant.nl. There were no limes on the trees when I got them last year in May. I’ve harvested limes all through autumn and winter, and I am assuming that new ones will grow this year. I bought it from this place because it is the only one I could find that had them in stock in a large enough size to be fruit-bearing. If you buy a small one, you’d have to wait for some years.

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