swordfish belly; cherry tomatoes, marjoram; red mustard

Somebody else said it, but it totally makes sense: Swordfish belly is to swordfish as pork belly is to pork.

Which means it’s absolutely wonderful, and explains why I’ve gone home with some every time I’ve found it in the market. Because it doesn’t show up at our local fish stands very often, this was only the fourth time I’ve been able to prepare it.

  • one 1½-inch-thick 14-ounce belly steak from a local, Long Island waters, swordfish (noting there’s a significant shrinkage in the cooking process, so this amount represented 2 modest portions) from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, brought to kitchen/room temperature, cut into 2 segments, the skin not sliced off this time, as it’s perfectly edible and it helps hold together the shape of the belly meat, briefly seared, 30 or so seconds on the first side, 15 or a little more on the second, inside a totally dry (no oil or butter whatsoever) enameled cast iron oval pan which had been pre-heated above a high flame until quite hot, the swordfish seasoned, as it was turned, with local Long Island sea salt, also from P.E. & D.D., and freshly ground black pepper,  removed and arranged on warm plates, the heat under the pan reduced to medium and a tablespoon or so of olive oil added, slices from one rocambole garlic clove from Keith’s Farm placed inside and sautéed until softened, and then a couple dozen or so halved, very ripe golden cherry tomatoes from Eckerton Hill Farm, punctured with a small trussing steel, which added and pushed around inside the pan briefly, after which all of its contents were arranged on and around the seared swordfish, both fish and vegetable finished with a squeeze of a small organic Californian lemon from Chelsea While Foods Market and sprinkled with chopped marjoram from from Willow Wisp Farm
  • slices of a crusty She Wolf Bakery baguette to soak up all the juices