I don’t know why I have always been afraid of swordfish; must be the long razor-esque nose and the fact that as a kid my step-father used to always order it at fancy restaurants – an automatic repellant for a teenage rebel who wants nothing to do with the culinary choices her parents make.
A week ago, though, I inherited two fat swordfish steaks from a friend who had overbought the amount of fish for his Saturday college football party and was heading out of town, therefore looking for someone who might do some good with the leftovers rather than throwing them out as waste.
I decided to treat them like regular old steaks and was quite pleased with the results, learning that a quick sear and a respect for the fat layer surrounding its flaky girth was the best way to prepare the meat. With no adornments, I laid the steak on a piece of foil in the hot broiler for three minutes per side. Then I took one pat of butter, mixed it with some Italian spices from my favorite spice store, and set a dollop of the compound whip on top of the hot steak and let it melt naturally and ooze over the edges. Three collard leaves chopped and sautéed in olive oil and a fourth cup of diced onion was the only side dish I needed. A squeeze of Meyer lemon across the entire dish provided a last touch panache that tied the whole meal together with an undertone of blended tang.
Salty, savory and hearty, the dish changed my mind about swordfish and the ability of white fish in general to be dense, rich and comforting.