Grilled Swordfish with Citrus Pesto

by Food Hound on July 4, 2013

in Main Dishes, Sauces and Dressings, Seafood

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I’m a little distracted because…

I’m going to CHINA!!!  And I’m spending way too much time doing pointless things like jotting down the Chinese characters of the bar I was reading about that has the best lychee martini *ever* so I can give it to the cab driver, which you KNOW I will butcher into the name of a brothel or Chinese mob boss’ office, both of which would make for a very interesting night, indeed.  AND I legitimately spent time googling ‘how not to look like a tourist in Beijing.’  If my sub-par tai chi doesn’t give me away… I’m pretty sure my blond hair will.  Wow, I’m an idiot.

(But just for the record, I do try not to look like an American tourist when I travel anywhere.  I mean, America, I love you and all, especially on the eve of your birthday, but let’s be real- Mickey Mouse t-shirts/cropped pants and sneakers/anything from Coldwater Creek (sorry Mom) won’t make you any friends on any other city street in any other country.  Let’s stand for something other than Twinkies, Honey-Boo-Boo, and pants that say ‘Juicy’ on the butt.  ‘Murica!)

I want to spend every free minute (aka nap time) working on my master list of things to pack (including plenty of Imodium because you know I’m going to give in and eat street food). But… we still gotsta eat, so I still gotsta cook.  And let’s face it, with a week plus of no cooking looming ahead of me… I wantsta cook!

Pesto is a labor of love for me every summer because basil has such a tough time growing in our backyard, aka where the sun don’t shine.  But when you plant eight basil plants, things are different!  BOOM!  Now I have enough to power a small country off pesto fumes alone!  MUAHAHA!!

Pesto might sound like something way too complicated to make as a quick dinner, but it’s a matter of dumping all the ingredients in your food processor and hitting ‘on.’  And the orange and lemon zest make it super special, complementing the grilled swordfish even more than regular pesto.  I’m not saying toss away your classic pesto recipe, but I am saying you should try adding the citrus twist.  It works for vodka, and it works for pesto.

The only thing I have to say about the grilled swordfish is that I am clearly not grilling enough swordfish.  It’s tremendously fabulous.

If you’re reading this and you still don’t have meal plans for the 4th, you do now!  I mean, what else says ‘America’ like Grilled Swordfish with Citrus Pesto?  I’m sure the pilgrims caught swordfish on their way over.  True, the Citrus Pesto is Italian, but so was the Godfather, and that’s one of the most iconic American movies ever.  So there- America on a plate!  Enjoy, and happy 4th to you and yours!

Grilled Swordfish with Citrus Pesto
From Giada DeLaurentiis
Serves: 4
  • Citrus pesto:
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed (about 3 cups)
  • ½ cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Swordfish:
  • 4 (6-ounce) swordfish steaks
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Blend the basil, pine nuts, garlic, zests, juices, salt, and pepper in a food processor until the mixture is finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.
  2. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush both sides of the swordfish fillets with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill the swordfish about 3 to 4 minutes on each side for a 1-inch thick fillet.
  3. Transfer the grilled swordfish to serving plates, top with the citrus pesto, and serve.


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