Swordfish with Salsa Romesco

Posted By Stephen


Kerri recently bought a book by Diana Henry called Crazy Water Pickled Lemons and it has many, many interesting Mediterranean, North Africa and Middle Eastern recipes in it. Kerri went through the book and tagged the pages that had recipes that she thought were worth looking at, and there are now hundreds of little coloured tags sticking out of the book. Okay I exaggerate a bit – there aren’t quite hundreds, but there are certainly a lot of them.

Today we tried swordfish with salsa romesco. We have tried a few stews with romesco before, but then it was cooked into the dish rather than being served as a sauce. It is a Catalan speciality which is very adaptable to serving with different sorts of fish, meat or vegetables.

I was out having my hair cut for a while, and while that was going on, Kerri prepared dinner. When I got home, the salsa romesco was made, new potatoes were steaming, beans were ready to be steamed and the swordfish was oiled and seasoned and ready to be griddled.

We griddled the swordfish for just a couple of minutes on each side and they turned out very well – cooked through but moist and succulent. The romesco sauce was spicer than we remembered the previous versions being, so it was good that we had the fairly robust swordfish to stand up to it. It all turned out rather well and we have a fair amount of the salsa romesco left over, so we’ll be looking for interesting uses for it over the next few days!

This is the recipe… it serves four. We only did swordfish for two but made the four-person serving of salsa, which is why we have so much left over.

4 swordfish steaks
olive oil
salt and pepper

For the salsa:
1 1/2 dried ancho chillies (or nora chillies – we actually just used dried finger chillies and we couldn’t find either at short notice)
3 garlic cloves
olive oil
1 slice bread
30g shelled hazelnuts
30g blanched almonds
2 plums tomatoes
1 tsp soft, dark brown sugar
1/2 red pepper, de-seeded
1/2 medium red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp sweet, smoked paprika
12ml sherry vinegar
80ml extra virgin olive oil

Cover the dried chillies in very hot water and leave them to soak and plump up. Saute two of the garlic cloves in a couple of tablespoons of pol until pale fold and reserve them. Discard the crusts, tear the bread into pieces and saute it in the garlicky olive oil until well coloured. Toast the nuts in a dry pan until just browning. Set these aside.

Halve the tomatoes and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Brush the pepper with a little olive oil, then grill it with the tomatoes until the latter have caramelised on top and the pepper is blistered and black in patches. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and put the flesh into a food processor with the tomatoes, bread and both the raw and the sauteed garlic.

Drain the dried chillies, reserving a little of the soaking liquid. Cut them open and remove and discard the seeds. Put them and 30ml of the soaking liquid into the food processor, then add all the other salsa ingredients, except the extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the machine on and gradually add the oil in s steady stream. Taste for seasoning – you may want a little more sherry vinegar or salt.

Brush the swordfish with olive oil and season. Cook on a very hot griddle pan, colouring both sides and then turn the heat down so that the fish can cook in the centre. Serve with the salsa.

As it turned out, our swordfish steaks were quite thin, so we didn’t need to turn it down and leave it; they were done after just a couple of minutes at relatively high heat on either side.

Apr 30th, 2009

2 Comments to 'Swordfish with Salsa Romesco'

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  1. Kathryn said,

    I love that book! Hmmm my copy has also sprouted lots of sticky labels.

    Page 132 = current favourite

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