The swordfish, I understand, is a terrific game fish, but my personal experience with its greatness has been limited to the kitchen and dining table.
Although I’ve heard some reports that it may not be for everyone, I think xiphias gladius is one of the best tasting fish anywhere, and we’re very lucky that this migratory giant regularly visits our own waters. It’s also one of the easiest seafood to prepare. Aside from a modest responsibility of ensuring that there be at least one sympathetic herb on hand, and one or more responsible seasonings, it’s mostly about knowing when to stop cooking, rather than how.
- one 16-ounce swordfish steak from American Seafood Company picked up that afternoon at Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market on 23rd Street, halved, marinated on an ironstone platter for more than half an hour, turning once, in a mixture of olive oil, a tablespoon of fresh oregano (mostly buds) from Norwich Meadows Farm, a small amount of crushed dried peperoncino Calabresi secchi from Buon Italia, a bit of fresh habanada pepper from Oak Grove Plantation, and a chopped section of a stem of Japanese scallion from Berried Treasures Farm, drained well and the steaks covered on both sides with a coating of homemade dried breadcrumbs, pan-grilled over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, or until just barely fully cooked all of the way through (think of the texture of a fresh good cheesecake), removed from the pan and arranged on the plates, sprinkled with a little Maldon sea salt, a bit of juice from a Whole Foods Market organic lemon squeezed on top, and garnished with red micro mustard from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- three quarters of a pound of some amazing sweet, fresh ‘White potatoes’ from Jersey Farm Produce Inc., boiled with a generous amount of salt until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried while inside the large, still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware glass pot in which they had cooked, a tablespoon or so of olive oil added, seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, tossed with torn fresh sage from Echo Creek Farm, also in the 23rd Street market
- five different kinds and colors of baby eggplant, collected over several visits to Norwich Meadows Farm in the Unions Square Greenmarket (hence no photograph), each cut into 4 slices, mixed with a little olive oil, 6 or so Kalamata olives from Whole Foods Market, pitted, finely-chopped garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm, sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper, pan-grilled over a brisk flame, turning once, sprinkled with torn spearmint leaves from Keith’s Farm, arranged on the plates and finished with a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was an Italian (Sicily) white, Liotro Inzolia 2016 (100% Inzolia grapes), from Garnet Wines
- the music was the album, ‘C.P.E. Bach: Concertos & Symphonies’