When I was little, the only way I knew how to eat swordfish was grilled on skewers, like a fishy “souvlaki”. This meaty fish can dry out so easily, you need to cook it just until it’s done, otherwise you just ruined dinner. I guess that’s the reason cooks put onions, peppers or tomatoes on the skewers to give it extra moisture. I resisted the temptation of cooking swordfish for a long time, just because I couldn’t be bothered with all the focus on the cooking time. But I do like swordfish and if cooked right, it can really become a delicious, healthy, nutritious meal.
So I bought two steaks and thought of roasting them in the oven, with a breadcrumb crust. An herby crust is a really good method of cooking other types of fish as well, like salmon. A friend of mine once told me she puts pesto on her salmon and covers it with a Parmesan crust before baking. I added almonds in my crust mixture for extra flavour as well as chopped basil and parsley. I spread the steaks with Dijon mustard, which is a great way to help the crust adhere to the fish. I must say I had a terrific lunch. I served it with a quick tartare sauce, but a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice or a simple “ladolemono” (olive oil and lemon) will do just fine.
- 2 large swordfish steaks
- 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard (depending on how big your steaks are)
- a little olive oil for brushing the pan
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- ½ cup almonds
- 1 Tbs basil leaves
- 1 Tbs parsley leaves
- Zest on one lemon
- 2 Tbs olive oil
For the tartare sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbs lemon zest
- 2 tsp capers
- freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 200 C. Brush some olive oil all over the base of a baking pan. Put the swordfish in the pan. Brush the surface of the steaks with the Dijon mustard. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
In a bowl of a food processor, put the breadcrumbs, almonds, parsley, basil and lemon zest. Pulse until almonds are ground and everything is well blended (mixture will be green because of the herbs. If you wish for the crust not to be green, you can chop the parsley and basil with a knife and mix them in the breadcrumb mixture with a spatula).
Put the breadcrumb mixture in a bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well to coat all the mixture. Using your hands, cover the steaks with the crumb mixture. Press mixture down with your hands so that it sticks on the steaks. Don’t coat your steaks too thickly, as the fish will cook quickly and the crush won’t have enough time to become crunchy. But even if it stays a bit soft, your fish will still taste delicious.
Bake for 18-20 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your steaks. Don’t overcook or they will be too dry. If you are in doubt, use a knife to check if the fish is cooked in the middle.
Make the tartare sauce by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl. Serve the fish warm, with lemon wedges and the tartare sauce.