This is a lovely dish that combines a previous post into a full dinner. The blend of flavors is breathtaking and it’s pretty to boot!
Another fish we really enjoy is swordfish. Like tuna, it’s a dense “meaty” fish. It’s perfect for grilling. It has a milder flavor than tuna, is moist and flavorful with a slightly sweet taste. Like tuna, swordfish offers a low-fat, low-calorie choice for health-conscious consumers and pairs well with other foods. Swordfish flesh may vary from pale to pinkish, probably depending on diet prior to capture. In either case, good quality is indicated by red blood lines bordering the loin or fillet. If the meat isn’t a beautiful pale to pinkish color and doesn’t smell like the ocean, don’t buy it. If you can get it fresh, however, there is no fish like swordfish. We like it a lot.
We came up with this dish one beautiful afternoon after we had gone to our favorite fishmonger and purchased some remarkably fresh swordfish. We had a spaghetti squash in the fridge begging to be used and some homegrown basil in the yard. It is an unbelievably delicious dish with remarkable depth of flavor. The citrus from the pesto complements and blends with the lemon spaghetti squash. The floral nature of the basil coupled with the mild sweetness of the succulent fish go remarkably well with the citrus flavors to tantalize your taste buds and blow your mind. If you want a nice Spring/Summer dish to entertain your friends that is relatively easy, packed with flavor, is refreshing and beautiful when served, you need to fix this recipe. Your friends will be talking about this meal for a very long time.
For the Spaghetti Squash
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup diced zucchini (rind only)
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped (parsley may be used for those who don’t like cilantro)
- 1/4 cup diced tomato (peeled and seeded)
For the Citrus Pesto
- 3 cups fresh Genovese Basil
- 1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 lime, zested
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1/2 orange zested
- 1/2 orange juiced
For the Swordfish
- 4 swordfish steaks, 6 – 8 oz each
- Salt and fresh
For the Spaghetti Squash
For instructions for the Spaghetti Squash go to the post on Spaghetti Squash with Lemon, Onions, Peppers, Capers, Tomatoes & Cilantro. This will take the longest amount of time to prepare because you must bake the spaghetti squash, roughly 45 minutes, so do this first.
For the Pesto
While the spaghetti squash is baking, go ahead and make the Citrus Pesto. Place the basil in a food processor.
Add lemon zest,
orange zest and
Pulse until you have a coarse chop.
Add the citrus juices.
Next add pine nuts
and Parmesan Cheese.
Pulse again to incorporate. Now, add the olive oil while the food processor is running to fully incorporate and puree the mixture.
Set aside until plating.
For the swordfish
Season the swordfish with salt and pepper on each side.
Place in a skillet over medium high heat and cook for approximately 2 minutes depending upon how done you like your fish.
Turn and cook another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and plate.
Put a bed of the spaghetti squash in the middle of the plate.
Put a swordfish filet on top of the spaghetti squash.
Top with the citrus pesto.
Serve and enjoy.
8 thoughts on “Swordfish with Citrus Pesto on a bed of Spaghetti Squash with Lemon, Onions, Peppers, Capers, Tomatoes & Cilantro”
I’ve tried swordfish a couple times, and the one time I cooked it myself the meat wasn’t very good; kind of rubbery and just plain yucky! Have you had bad experiences buying swordfish? I haven’t seen any in the markets here in upstate NY, and I miss the fish that was so readily available in the Pacific (I liked mostly tuna & snappers.)
We buy swordfish pretty frequently but always at a market that has its fish flown in daily and it’s never frozen. I always look for a pinkish hue to the meat and see if there is any of the blood meat. You have to cut out the blood meat because it is very strong but it lets you know how fresh it is. The only time we have had bad swordfish is when we were in a rush and bought it at a supermarket. It was pretty nasty.
One of my favorite fish. Just bookmarked this recipe for future enjoyment, thanks.
Thanks for your kind comments. It’s always good to hear from you.
This looks divine. I’m especially excited to try the citrus pesto – I’m guessing it would go really well with salmon too!
We have guests in a few weeks and I’m def going to try this out on them, thanks
Good to see you again. Yes, this would go beautifully with salmon. It would also go with grouper or red snapper. Let me know how you like it.
Hi Richard. I made your citrus pesto last night for dinner guests and it was a BIG hit. We had it over mahi-mahi and it was so good I had to stop myself from eating it with a spoon during the cooking process. Thanks for getting me out of my fish rut (and making me look good in front of my friends!)
I am so glad it worked out well. And you don’t need any help looking good entertaining your guests. Remember I look at your blog, too. 🙂