I love to travel. And while I enjoy seeing the sights, my perfect trip involves mixing in with the locals. That’s when I feel like I’m truly experiencing the culture.
Part of mixing in with the locals, for me, is enjoying the foods that are unique to the place I’m visiting. I’m always fascinated by ingredients that I don’t normally use or cooking techniques that are distinctive to the culture or spices that I’ve never heard of. Every time I travel, I am like a sponge wanting to absorb every little bit of information I can about the culture and food.
Sadly, vacations end, but how we carry the memories of our travels helps to make our experiences as real as when we were there. I think there is no better way to do that than to create or recreate a meal inspired by the place you visited.
That is this Mediterranean Swordfish recipe for me. With the exception of a couple of years during the Revolution, I have traveled to Egypt every year since 2007. If I can squeeze in an extra few days of vacation, I like to stop through Europe on the way back to the States. On one of those stopovers, I visited Sorrento, Positano and the Amalfi Coast with two dear friends. Perfection! That trip was amazing and so I wanted to create a dish that reminded me of that very special time in Italy.
Italy, of course, is known for great food. The north part of the country is famous for its amazing cream sauces. It makes sense as there is more room to sustain cows and sheep that are imperative to craft the perfect milk or cheese-based sauce. As you move south towards the boot of Italy, you start to see more tomato-based sauces and you start to see more fish on the menu.
One of the prime location for catching Swordfish is in the Strait of Messina, which separates Sicily from Calabria. Only about two miles wide, the strong currents help to sustain these giant fish.
In crafting this recipe, I wanted to combine a hearty Swordfish steak with a tomato-based sauce that just screams Southern Italy and the Mediterranean.
Garlic, olive oil and parsley are all staples of Italian cooking. To that we add the blistered tomatoes that balance nicely with the crunch of the red onion, the tanginess of the brined capers and zest of the lemon, which is synonymous with the Amalfi Coast.
I just love this recipe because it tastes so…Fresh! There is really no better way to describe it. It is not a traditional tomato sauce that spends hours in the pot. Rather, this sauce is cooked in a flash, just enough to sweeten up the tomatoes and infuse them with garlic. The remaining ingredients are added at the end so they maintain their crispiness and bite. It’s such a nice balance and when placed atop a grilled Swordfish steak, I find myself back on the pebbly beach of Positano under a full moon.
I cannot wait for you to try this recipe and when you do, please share with us your experience! Also, tell us about some of the food you have created that were inspired by your travels.
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
- Pat Swordfish Steak with Paper Towel to dry. Coat both sides with Olive Oil and season with Salt and Pepper. Set aside.
- Cut Tomatoes in half.
- Mince Red Onion.
- Roughly Chop Italian Flat Leaf Parsley.
- In small pan over medium heat, add olive oil.
- When oil is warm, using Garlic Press, press Garlic in to oil and sauté until light brown.
- Add Tomatoes and cook until they start to soften and skin begins to blister.
- Turn off heat and take pan of stove.
- Grill Swordfish on one side until opaque on bottom half of fish. Turn Swordfish over and grill on other side for a couple minutes more. Remove from Grill, place on clean plate and cover with Aluminum Foil.
- 10. In pan with Tomatoes, add Red Onion, Capers, Parsley and Lemon Zest. Stir.
- 11. Plate up Swordfish and top with Tomato mixture.