Swordfishin' for a Good Recipe

It's not often I make a flop. But it's probably less often that we make a recipe that stops us both in our tracks. Dead in our tracks. Something we swoon over with each and every bite. Hoping. That. Last. Bite. Will. Never. Come. And counting down the days until we can make it again.

If I make something fabulous and vegetarian, I might ooh and aah over it and David will agree that it's okay. But, unless it's something super spectacular, he likely won't ask for seconds or touch the leftovers.  

Alternatively, when David makes a carnivorous dish with beef, chicken or lamb, I won't touch it. And I think he likes it that way. Being only children, we both tend to appreciate it when the other doesn't eat our beloved dish, which means there's "more for me."

So when we make a recipe that we both fawn over and swear it was "one of the top 10 best dishes we have ever had," you know it's something special. And that happened recently.

As usual, we came home from the farmers market with a bag full of gorgeous Springfield Farm arugula and we pondered something different we could make with it. It's still hot, hot, hot in San Antonio so we were thinking about a salad, but not just a plain arugula salad. We wanted a salad with a bit more panache. David found a Mario Batali recipe in the Italian Grill cookbook that we decided to try.

So off David went to Groomer Seafood where he procured a lovely piece of swordfish. 

The recipe calls for paillards of swordfish, which means thinly sliced, but not too thinly or you'll have sashimi. (We tend to leave a little thickness on the fish for texture and so it doesn't grill too quickly.)

David cuts the swordfish into slices.

This dish is utterly magical. Once you try it, you will know what I mean. When we had it the first time, we agreed that it was one of the top 10 best dishes we have ever had. Considering our food repertoire, I'd say that's quite a statement.

So stop by the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market this Sunday and pick up a bag of arugula from Springfield Farm. 

Then you can swing by Groomer's one day for some swordfish and have this salad for dinner one night next week.

You'll likely just want to hit the "rewind" or "repeat" button again like we did. It's that good!

Buen provecho!

Arugula and Tomato Salad with Grilled Swordfish Paillards
The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from Mario Batali's Italian Grill cookbook

Print recipe

The trick to this simple, yet unbelievable salad is to use the best and freshest ingredients possible. Otherwise, this dish will be lackluster and we don't want that. I wondered about the mustard seeds, but the way they cling to the arugula and tomatoes and then add this perfect little "bite" is lovely.

Serves 2

1 lb. skinless swordfish steak, cut horizontally into thin slices* (about 1/4" thick)
3 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups fresh arugula, washed and spun dry
1 lb. super ripe cherry or grape tomatoes or 3 tomatoes, chunked
2 teaspoons black or brown mustard seeds
Scant 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice

Preheat gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.

Brush the slices of swordfish on both sides with 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the swordfish paillards on the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes, unmoved, then gently flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes on the second side or just until cooked through. 

Transfer cooked fish to a large platter.

In a medium bowl, gently toss the arugula with the tomatoes and mustard seeds, and then add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and the vinegar. Gently toss to mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the salad on a plate and artfully place several pieces of grilled swordfish. Squeeze a little lemon on the swordfish and sprinkle a few pinches of Maldon salt and serve immediately.

Mario's notes: Any good fishmonger will be happy to cut the fish into paillards, but if you have to slice it yourself, put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm it slightly and make cutting it easier.

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