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Swordfish with Black Olive and Mint Tapenade

Maren Caruso

Servings: 4

Make a double batch of this versatile black olive paste and use the extra as a dressing for pasta, sandwiches, or sautés, or as a garnish for grilled or roasted chicken. It’s paired with fish here, so anchovies (an ingredient in traditional tapenade) are omitted, but feel free to add them if you like.


For the tapenade

  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced and mashed to a paste
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes

For the swordfish

  • Four 1-inch-thick swordfish fillets (6 to 7 oz. each)
  • Coarsely cracked black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

For serving

  • 1 pint ripe grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt


Make the tapenade

  • Put the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and oil in a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a coarse paste. Pulse in the basil, mint, garlic, and red pepper flakes until combined and transfer to a medium bowl.

Make the swordfish

  • Heat a gas grill to medium high, or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. Clean and oil the grates to prevent sticking. Sprinkle the fish with 1 tsp. pepper and 1/2 tsp. salt and drizzle with oil. Grill the fish until it has good grill marks, about 4 minutes. Using both tongs and a spatula, carefully turn the fish. Continue cooking until the other side has good grill marks and the fish is just cooked through, about 8 minutes.

To serve

  • Toss the tomatoes with the mint, oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Transfer the fish to a platter, spread generously with the tapenade, and top with a spoonful of the tomatoes (and their juices). Serve immediately.

Serve the swordfish with a side of Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs.


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