Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Basil-Caper Butter


The basil-caper butter softens this delicious fish.

Grilled Swordfish Stakes with Basil-Caper Butter
Photo: © Tina Rupp
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil

  • 2 teaspoons drained capers, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • Four 8-ounce swordfish steaks, cut 1 inch thick

Arugula and Endive Salad with Pine Nuts and Parmesan

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 Belgian endives, thinly sliced crosswise

  • 1 (6-ounce) bunch of arugula, thick stems discarded

  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings


Grill the swordfish

  1. Light a grill. In a small bowl, blend the butter with the basil, capers and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate.

  2. In a large, shallow dish, mix the olive oil with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season the swordfish with salt and pepper and turn the fish in the olive oil mixture. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

  3. Grill the swordfish steaks over a hot fire until nicely charred on the outside and just cooked within, about 4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, compose the salad

  1. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderately low heat, shaking the skillet occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate to cool.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add the endive, arugula, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese shavings and the toasted pine nuts and toss thoroughly. 

  3. Transfer the steaks to plates, top each with a dollop of basil-caper butter and serve right away with the salad.

Make ahead

The basil-caper butter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Suggested pairing

Flavored butter gives these meaty swordfish steaks a piquant, herbal taste that's echoed in Sauvignon Blanc, particularly ones from the Collio region of Italy.

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