swordfish with mixed peppercorns; potato with chive; salad


Swordfish.  Awesome.

Because of what goes on in my kitchen generally, I think of swordfish as very Italian, in fact perhaps Sicilian more than anything else, but this time I prepared it there was butter involved in two of the three elements of the meal, so it would be awkward to describe this as a southern Italian entrée.

The wine however really was Italian; actually it was Sicilian, and as such it was likely to be very familiar with swordfish.


  • one 11-ounce swordfish steak from Pura Vida Fisheries, cut into two pieces, dried, sprinkled with salt and a mix of 6 different peppercorns, coarsely ground, browned in a little olive oil on one side (about 3 minutes) inside an enameled cast iron pan, then turned over and transferred to a 400º oven for about 7 or 8 minutes, or until barely cooked, placed on warm plates while a seasoned butter (composed of  2 tablespoons of softened butter, a quarter teaspoon or more of the same peppercorn mix, half of a teaspoon of lemon zest, a bit of salt, one minced rocambole garlic clove from Keith’s Farm, and chopped parsley from Phillips Farm) was added to the pan and scraped together over medium heat along with the cooking juices, to collect the brown bits from the bottom, before the sauce was poured over the steaks
  • eight red potatoes from Stokes Farm, boiled in salted water, drained and dried in the still-warm glass pot, rolled in a little butter, and sprinkled with slices from 5 or so whole baby chive plants from Rogowski Farm, a little very beautiful and very luscious red watercress from Max Fish Hatchery, one thinly-sliced baby fennel and its fronds from Norwich Meadows Farm, dressed with a good Umbrian olive oil (Luciana Cerbini Casa Gola), a squeeze of organic lemon juice, freshly-ground telicherry pepper and Maldon salt
  • a salad of a mixture of small ‘wild’ dandelion leaves (delicate looking, but spicy) from Lani’s Farm,
  • the wine was an Italian (Sicily) white, Colle del Mandorlo bianco Terre Siciliane 2013 from Feudo Montini, purchased from Appellation Wine and Spirits 
  • the music was that of the early 20th-century South African composer, Gideon Fagan, from an album which includes three other South Africans,  Theo Wendt, Henry Lissant-Collins, and Michael Moerane