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Broiled Swordfish with Browned-Butter Red Pepper Sauce


Serves four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 52

  • 4 swordfish steaks (2-lb. total), each about 1-inch thick, trimmed of any skin or dark flesh
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, plus 6 large cloves, thickly sliced
  • Large pinch crushed red chile flakes
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers (about 2 large peppers), drained, dried, and sliced into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup drained tiny capers, rinsed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
If using a broiler, cook the fish for 4 minutes on the first side and for 6 minutes after turning. If using a grill, reverse this.

Heat the broiler with the rack as close to the heat source as possible, or heat a gas grill, covered, to high.

Arrange the fish steaks in a 9x13-inch nonreactive dish. Combine the oil, minced garlic, chile flakes, half of the parsley, the lemon juice, and a generous amount of pepper. Pour this mixture over the fish and use your fingers to coat the steaks with it.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonreactive skillet over medium heat and, when hot and bubbling, reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the butter gently, until the milk solids begin to turn light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it turns golden, another 2 to 3 minutes; don’t let the garlic or butter solids burn. Stir in the peppers and capers and then move the pan to a cold burner.

Sprinkle both sides of the fish with salt and put the fish steaks either on a cold broiler pan or on the hot grill. Broil or grill the fish, turning once, until golden on both sides and cooked through but still succulent, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the fish to a warmed serving platter.

Reheat the sauce over medium heat until it’s sizzling. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, the remaining parsley, and black pepper to taste. When hot, spoon this mixture on top of the fish and serve immediately.


Halibut steaks make a fine substitute for the swordfish.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 540, Fat (kcal): 41, Fat Calories (g): 370, Saturated Fat (g): 15, Protein (g): 31, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21, Carbohydrates (mg): 9, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 4, Sodium (g): 820, Cholesterol (g): 105, Fiber (g): 1,

I absolutely love this! The swordfish is so moist and delicious. The combination of red pepper, balsamic, garlic and butter is wonderful! I did cut the butter with some olive oil (to reduce the amount of butter and also to prevent it from burning) and it was still great!

Made this grilled with my own roasted frozen peppers. Served over my own canned young canellini beans with a New York Rose of Cabernet Franc, excellent all the way around.

I have made this recipe many times (when I can get good swordfish!). Most often, we grill the marinated fish instead of broiling. I use the bottled peppers that contain half yellow and half red peppers. It is always pretty and there is never a bite left!

I absolutely love this recipe and have made it a few times now. I used olive oil in the sauce with just one Tablespoon of butter to brown it a bit and it was lovely. I also on re-heating the sauce, poured in the remaining marinade...why waste all that garlic and herbs. This is definately on my go to list, the ingredients can always be on hand which is also a bonus. might be nice to saute fresh peppers and make a pepperonata to serve over the fish. Definately a winner with the sword fish.

Suggested time on grill was perfect and swordfish had wonderful taste. Just uses a lot of butter in pepper and caper sauce. Will make again but may try to limit amount of butter.

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