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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Serious Summer Deliciousness: Grilled Swordfish with Tomato and Arugula Salsa & Frozen Lemon Mousse

With near 90 degree temperatures upon us here in South Florida, I've been in the mood lately for some summertime staples - fresh fish, zesty citrus, vibrant greens, and juicy tomatoes. While flipping through "Savor the Moment," to my delight, I came across two recipes that included all of these delicious, summery treats: Grilled Swordfish with Tomato and Arugula Salsa (pg. 182) and for dessert Frozen Lemon Mousse (pg. 246).

I must admit, however, swordfish is not first on my list of favorite fish - actually it probably doesn't even make the top five. With its heavier texture, I find it can sometimes be on the fishy end of the spectrum. But, in the spirit of the "Savor the Moment" Challenge, I was not going to be deterred by this potentially fishy foe! I marched into Captain Frank's Seafood in Boynton Beach and placed my order. What I was presented with was not exactly what I had expected: a beautiful, orangy-hued piece of fish, that didn't look anything like I remembered. Referred to as "pumpkin" swordfish, these particular fish apparently acquire an orange tinge to their flesh from feeding on large amounts of shrimp. It is preferable to the more common "white" swordfish and more difficult to find. It looked so great uncooked, I was excited to get it home and try it!

Once home, I seasoned and grilled the swordfish steaks and served them up on a bed of Cous Cous with Lemon, Garlic and Parsley Gremolota (the amazing Alex Guarnaschelli's recipe) topped with the Tomato and Arugula Salsa that had been chilling in the fridge. I am happy to report, the swordfish was succulent and delicious - much better than I remembered (thank goodness because it's a little on the pricey side!) It paired very nicely with the zesty flavors of the lemony, garlic cous cous and the tomatoes, capers and arugula in the salsa. I will definitely be making this dish again - it was delicious!

I served the dish with a 2007 Lail Blueprint Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, a medium-bodied white wine crafted in a Sancerre style with a distinct California edge. The product of a single vineyard in St. Helena, this wine had lovely flavors of citrus, lemon cream and white pepper with a richness that nicely enhanced the flavors in the dish. The co-founder of Lail Vineyards, Robin Daniel Lail is a fourth generation Napa Valley vintner, whose family established Inglenook Vineyard Co. in 1879. Prior to Lail Vineyards, this member of California "wine royalty" also worked with Robert Mondavi and subsequently co-founded Dominus and Merryvale Vineyards in 1983. Pretty darn impressive if you ask me! For more on the fabulous Robin Daniel Lail and her eponymous winery check out my post later this week on!

After dinner I served up the Frozen Lemon Mousse (pg. 246) - doesn't that just sound like the perfect summer dessert? A blend of eggs, lemon juice, grated lemon zest and whipped cream (you do the whipping) it takes a little time to make but is definitely worth it! After chilling in the freezer for eight hours, I spooned the mousse into parfait glasses and garnished with fresh raspberries and mint as the cookbook suggested. It was refreshingly cool, light and creamy and the lovely lemon flavor was nicely enhanced by the bits of fresh lemon zest scattered throughout the mousse. This dessert can also be made a week in advance in case you know you'll be having guests over - gotta love that!

I look forward to making this delightful summer menu again in the very near future and I highly recommend trying some "pumpkin" swordfish if you have the chance. I have included the recipe for the Grilled Swordfish with Tomato and Arugula Salsa below. Let me know what you think - Enjoy!

Grilled Swordfish with Tomato and Arugula Salsa
Tomato and Arugula Salsa
1 pound plum tomatoes, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup chopped arugula
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 1/2 teaspoons capers
salt and pepper to taste
4 or 5 (6 ounce) swordfish steaks
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
For the salsa: combine the tomatoes, arugula, shallot, olive oil, lemon juice, capers, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
For the swordfish: brush both sides of the steaks with the olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily. Serve topped with the salsa. Serves four or five.


  1. Beautiful post. Wonderful dessert, I love the way you presented it.


  2. The swordfish sounds terrific and the frozen lemon mousse is such a refreshing and delightful end to a nice meal!

  3. Sounds like perfect pool weather and a wonderful meal to match.

  4. Stephannie, Cindy Krebsbach shared your blog with me--this is terrific!

  5. Just thought I'd chime in and make a correction. The orange hue of the "pumpkin" swordfish is not due to its diet. In fact there are no shrimp in 1600-1800 feet of water where the swordfish are caught off Florida. Shrimp are caught on the coast, swordfish out very deep. It was originally thought that the color was due to the food they ate, however it's actually a different species considered to be rare.


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