Swordfish have been prized since men first set to sea, and Sicilian and Calabrian fishermen still put to sea on open boats, calling out in an Ancient Greek dialect they believe capable of drawing the fish within range of their hand-thrown harpoons.
Because of their size -- the average for a swordfish is about 50 k, or 110 pounds -- they're sold as steaks, and while this makes cleaning and boning quite easy, it also means that an unscrupulous fishmonger may be tempted to pass off other steaks, in particular dogfish, as swordfish. For this reason Italian fishmongers usually put the head on display when they set out swordfish steaks.
How to be certain it's swordfish? The spine is true bone, not the cartilage of a dogfish, and there will be an X of darker flesh bracketing the vertebra, as you can see in this photo.
Though there are many elaborate recipes for swordfish, if it's really fresh it will be so flavorful that a simple preparation will be best.
Sicilian-Style Swordfish -- Pesce Spada alla Siciliana
To serve 4:
4 swordfish steaks, 3/4 of an inch (2 cm) high
A teaspoon freshly chopped oregano
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.
Season the olive oil with the minced oregano and briefly marinate the fish steaks in it. Drain them well, dredge them in the bread crumbs, and cook them either on a hot skillet or over the coals, turning them to brown the bread crumbs on both sides. Lightly salt them and serve them at once.
Swordfish on About:
Strawberry Margarita Swordfish
Grilled Ginger Citrus Swordfish
How to Select Fresh Fish
How to Serve a Whole Fish at Table
Other Fish Recipes