Grilled Swordfish with Tangy Onions & Fennel


A riff on the classic Venetian dish sarde in saor, this recipe combines meaty swordfish with vinegared onions and smoky grilled fennel. Look for swordfish steaks that have a nice sheen and are relatively thin; they're more tender than heftier steaks, which can be mealy. Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks 

Grilled Swordfish with Tangy Onions & Fennel
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 1/4 cup currants

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

  • 4 red onions (1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 small fennel bulbs, cut through the cores into 3/4-inch-thick wedges

  • Four 6-ounce swordfish steaks, about 1 inch thick


  1. In a small bowl, soak the currants in warm water until plumped, about 15 minutes, then drain them. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat until lightly golden, about 4 minutes.

  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and light golden, about 15 minutes. Add the wine, vinegar, sugar and bay leaf and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaf and keep the onions warm.

  3. Meanwhile, light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the fennel wedges with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the fennel over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender and lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  4. Brush the swordfish steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the fish over moderately high heat until nicely browned outside and just white throughout, about 3 minutes per side. Spoon the onions onto plates and arrange the swordfish steaks on top. Scatter the currants and pine nuts over the fish and serve with the grilled fennel.

Suggested Pairing

Tangy, peach-scented white like Viogner

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