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Swordfish with Caponata

Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

This is a great summertime dinner recipe that utilizes the bounty of the season's harvest. It can be eaten at room temperature, even the next day, mixed in with greens for a salad; it's delicious any way you serve it. It's a dish that is versatile and can easily be repurposed.

Technique tip: Salting the eggplant helps remove the bitterness of the eggplant; it also ensures a crispy and non-greasy eggplant.

Swap option: You could use snapper, tilapia, salmon, etc.


  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) swordfish steaks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large eggplants, diced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
  • 3 large red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 6 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
To Serve
  • lemon zest
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing
  • parsley, chopped
  • flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 2 lemons, halved


For the swordfish:


Season the swordfish steaks with salt and pepper.


Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and then swordfish. Cook for about 3 minutes per side.


Remove swordfish to a plate and set aside.

For the caponata:


Generously salt eggplant and place in a colander with a heavy-weighted object to extract the water. Let drain for an hour. Pat the eggplant dry.


Heat a sauté pan with the olive oil and quickly fry the eggplant until golden brown.


Place fried eggplant on a sheet tray with absorbent paper towels to drain out the excess oil.


Sauté bell peppers until they're soft but still retain their shape, about 6 to 7 minutes.


In a separate pan, with a drizzle of oil, sweat onions and celery for 2 minutes. Add garlic, sugar, vinegar, capers, raisins and anchovies. Bring to boil then simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 to 12 minutes.


In a bowl, mix the eggplant and onion mixture until combined. Gently stir in the basil.

To serve:

Top swordfish steaks with lemon zest, olive oil, parsley and sea salt.

Place room temperature eggplant caponata in the center of each plate and top with garnished swordfish steaks. Serve with lemon halves on the side.