Grilled Swordfish Skewers with Basil Oil


Why This Recipe Works: Swordfish has a taste all its own and needs co-starring ingredients that are strong and robust to complement the flavor of the fish. For these skewers, we paired swordfish with pieces of red onion and lemon. Once grilled, the onion pieces softened slightly yet retained some texture, and the lemon went from tart and acidic to sweet and rich. A simple basil oil, brushed over our skewers once they came off the grill, complemented the bright lemon flavor. Rubbing the swordfish with a bit of ground coriander added complexity and provided flavor that popped with the lemon and basil.

Serves 4

We like the flavor of swordfish here but you can substitute other firm-fleshed fish such as mahi-mahi or halibut. You will need four 12-inch metal skewers for this recipe.

1 1/2 pounds skinless swordfish steak, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
4 teaspoons ground coriander
Salt and pepper
3 lemons, quartered lengthwise and halved crosswise
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces, 3 layers thick
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. Pat swordfish dry with paper towels, rub with coriander, and season with salt and pepper. Thread fish, lemons, and onion evenly in alternating pattern onto four 12-inch metal skewers. Brush skewers with 1 tablespoon oil. Combine remaining 3 tablespoons oil and basil in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter three-quarters filled with charcoal briquettes (4 1/2 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

2B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high.

3. Clean cooking grate, then repeatedly brush grate with well-oiled paper towels until black and glossy, 5 to 10 times. Place skewers on grill. Cook (covered if using gas), turning as needed, until fish is opaque and flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife, 5 to 8 minutes.

4. Transfer skewers to platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Brush skewers with basil oil before serving.

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