Grilled Swordfish with Puttanesca Salsa….and Long Walks on the Beach???

4 May

Grilled Swordfish, Puttanesca Salsa, and Chive, Dill Potatoes Over a Hickory and Oak Wood Fire
Recipe by

Seafood on the grill is almost as primal as beef and pork and if done right can be just as succulent and delightful. My favorite seafood to get all primal with is swordfish, the steak-king of the sea world (in my humble opinion). The thickness and moistness of the swordfish is really unlike most other seafood steaks (with the exception of tuna) and when seasoned with lemon, olive oil, and garlic over a wood fire of hickory and oak…well then, let’s just say now we’re talking feast! Even a lion would want to devour this fish fiesta! Today I’m sharing my Grilled Swordfish recipe with a side of Puttanesca salsa and potatoes dressed with butter, fresh chives and dill. Almost makes you wanna build a fire beach side and crack open a cold beer as the sun goes down… (what is this??!?! An ad in the classifieds about romantic walks on the beach and soul-mates, etc…). Did I mention I like football and manly things too???
Grilled swordfish over a hickory and wood charcoal fire with puttanesca salsa and chive, dill dressed potatoes from Paggi Pazzo!

Whatever time of year you may decide on grilling swordfish, be it in the dead of summer (feel the heat!) or in my case late January, it’s important to find a quality piece of fish. Usually when I buy fish for dinner, especially on the grill, I like to make it a seafood fiesta by grabbing some shrimp, mussels, clams, etc… so there’s something to munch on before the main course is ready. In this case, I hooked (get it?) 10 large shrimp for some pre-dinner nibbling (what can I say, I’m a nibbler). Beforehand however, for my swordfish marinade I take a whole lemon and squeeze it over the swordfish in a zip-lock bag, tossed with olive oil, chopped garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. I then let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour to absorb the ingredients. The puttanesca salsa is a close exact recipe of the sauce with peeled and crushed tomatoes substituted for whole chopped plum tomatoes. I also prefer the combination of Italian capers and Sicilian and Gaeta olives to salty up the salsa and offset the sweet onion and fresh basil. We won’t put the vegetables directly over the grill but rather chop them into small chunks (with a healthy dose of olive oil) and cover and wrap in aluminum foil. This will allow the flavors to really steam together over the wood scented fire.
Puttanesca salsa with Italian eggplant and capers, Sicilian and Gaeta olives, plum tomatoes, sweet onion, fresh basil and olive oil from Paggi Pazzo!

I prefer hardwood lump charcoal and hickory wood chunks in two full chimney starters with oak wood chips (not soaked), sprinkled throughout for my grill fire. Now before adding your grates on top when the fire is ready, throw the potatoes over the wood directly as this will cook them much faster. Add the grates then place your puttanesca salsa in foil over medium-to-high heat, rotating 90 degrees every 5 minutes. After about 10 minutes, I place the swordfish down on the grill over medium-to-high heat, giving a quarter-inch turn after about 2 minutes and only grilling 6-8 minutes per side overall. The swordfish will cook quickly so once you see signs of the fish flaking or coming apart, remove immediately and save the fish! Remember, you got the touch! We’re almost done so now is the time to prepare the butter dressing for the potatoes. In a small aluminum tray, add butter with finely chopped fresh dill and chives and place on the grill. Remove once the butter melts and check your potatoes with a long tong, when soft on the outside – then you’re good to go!

All that’s left to do is slice open the potatoes and make it rain by pouring over the chive, dill, butter dressing. Then evenly distribute the swordfish and puttanesca salsa (remember, we said evenly…) and it’s seafood fiesta time! There are plenty of great white wines (and red wines) to join a tasty fresh grilled fish, but there’s something to be said about a nice cold beer as the beverage of choice (no piña colada in this case, like I said – this is not a classified ad!!! Unless…you going for a walk on the beach???). At least, that’s how I rolled on this particular catch of the day (from the fish market)! There you have it, Grilled Swordfish recipe with puttanesca salsa and chive, dill, buttered potatoes from Paggi Pazzo. Enjoy!

(All recipes combined are below but for specific recipes from this post, click on the following):
Grilled Swordfish Recipe
Puttanesca Salsa on the Grill Recipe
Potato with Chive and Dill Butter on the Grill Recipe

Grilled swordfish recipe over a wood charcoal fire from Paggi Pazzo

Grilled Swordfish with Lemon, Olive Oil, and Garlic Recipe with Puttanesca Salsa

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 50 min
Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 lbs. fresh swordfish steak
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 small Italian eggplant
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup Sicilian and Gaeta olives
  • 1 tablespoon Italian capers
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 white potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill

Cooking Directions

  1. To marinade swordfish steak, clean swordfish thoroughly and then chop 2 garlic cloves finely, and add to a zip-lock bag the swordfish, chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 whole lemon squeezed, pinch of salt and pinch of pepper then store in refrigerator for at least 1 to 3 hours
  2. For puttanesca salsa, finely chop olives, fresh basil leaves, and other 2 garlic cloves, then cut onion into thin strips, and chop eggplant and tomatoes into thin chunks and add together over aluminum foil. Then dress with olive oil, capers and a pinch of pepper and gently mix. Then close foil to cover salsa
  3. For potatoes, simply cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and chop fresh dill and chives finely and put aside
  4. Start chimney starter full of hardwood lump charcoal and hickory wood chunks and oak wood chips, using a match to paper towel dressed with olive oil under starter. Once the wood charcoal is grey, dump into grill pit. Before putting grates over fire, add potatoes into the wood charcoal themselves
  5. Add puttanesca salsa over medium-to high heat rotating clockwise every 5 minutes (puttanesca and potatoes will take longer to cook than swordfish so wait putting fish on the grill until 10 minutes after vegetables have been grilling)
  6. Add swordfish over medium-to-high heat, grilling 6-7 minutes per side and giving a quarter-inch turn after 1 minute. Be sure to move quickly as not to burn the swordfish and once fish begins to flake, remove from grill.
  7. In a small aluminum tray, add butter fresh dill and chives and remove from grill once butter has melted
  8. Once swordfish is flaky and tender, remove from grill and onto plate. For puttanesca, open foil to see if vegetables have turned soft and succulent, then remove
  9. For potatoes, 20 minutes on coals should be suffice but to be sure, use very long tongs after removing grates carefully (with a heat resistant grill glove) and push into potatoes to confirm if ready)
  10. Add swordfish to plate and squeeze over with a little extra lemon juice then remove puttanesca from foil into serving bowl and take potatoes out of foil and onto plates, slicing middle open and dressing with butter, chive, and dill dressing
  11. Grow a beard and throw on a captain’s hat – and now you’re ready to serve

Grilled Swordfish, Puttanesca Salsa, and Potatoes with Butter, Chives and Dill Recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 3 ratings.

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