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For a beautiful, restaurant-worthy dish look no further than Grilled Swordfish. Tender swordfish steaks crowned with a vibrant green olive tapenade are a dinner party worthy dish that's weeknight easy.
Meaty, mildly sweet swordfish is richer than your average white fish and that makes it perfect for grilling. No sticking to grill grates or falling apart, it's a delicious fish you can grill with confidence.
Ingredients You Need to Make Grilled Swordfish
- Swordfish Steaks: ideally 1 ½-inches thick
- Pitted Green Olives: such as Castelvetrano (Nocellara del Belice)
- Capers: Ideally non-pareil, pronounced \nahn-puh-REL\), meaning "has no equal" in French, these are the smallest capers with a bright, briny flavor and pop of texture.
- Olive Oil: good, extra-virgin olive oil
- Lemon: fresh lemon juice and zest, plus optional wedges for serving
- Fresh Parsley: flat leaf (Italian) parsley
- Garlic: fresh garlic
- Anchovy Fillet: ideally good quality anchovies packed in oil
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Cooking swordfish on the grill takes just 10 minutes, it's a sure method to retain the moisture and delectable flavor. In fact, this entire grilled swordfish recipe takes just 30 minutes, including time to whirl buttery Castelvetrano olives, lemon zest and capers into a lively green olive tapenade to spoon over the top (or mix it up with Artichoke Tapenade or simply drizzle with Garlic Butter Sauce). Arranged on a platter along with lemon wedges and a few sprigs of parsley makes for a simple and impressive presentation.
Measure the internal temperature of grilled swordfish to know when it's done - it should reach 145˚F on an instant read thermometer. You want the steaks to be seared on the outside and just cooked through on the inside so they're still juicy.
I recommend grilling swordfish over medium-high heat, ~400˚F.
How to Grill Swordfish
You have endless options for grilled swordfish toppings and marinades, the key is to get the grilling right. It really is as easy as 1,2,3.
- Preheat your outdoor grill (gas grill or charcoal grill) to medium-high (400˚F).
- Pat swordfish steaks dry and rub them generously with oil, then season both sides with kosher salt and pepper.
- Arrange steaks in a single layer on clean grill grates freshly brushed with a little oil. Grill with the lid down (undisturbed for easy flipping and beautiful grill marks) for 4-5 minutes per side depending on thickness. Carefully flip steaks with tongs or a thin, metal spatula and grill 4-5 minutes more (to a 145˚F internal temperature). Serve.
More Grilled Fish and Seafood Recipes
Grilled Swordfish with Green Olive Tapenade
For the Green Olive Tapenade
- 1 cup pitted green olives such as castelvetrano
- 1 tablespoon capers drained
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 anchovy fillet finely chopped
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Swordfish
- 4 6-ounce swordfish steaks 1 ½-inches thick
- extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- lemon wedges for serving, optional
- To make the green olive tapenade, combine olives, capers, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and zest, parsley, garlic and anchovy fillet in the bowl of a food processor; pulse just until the olives are finely chopped. Season to taste with pepper. Transfer to bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high (400˚F).
- Pat swordfish steaks dry and place on a plate. Rub generously with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper.
- Brush grill grates with oil just before adding swordfish steaks in a single layer, leaving a little space between each. Grill steaks with the lid down 4-5 minutes, depending on thickness. Using tongs or a thin, metal spatula, gently flip each steak. Grill 4-5 minutes more (again with the lid down) until just opaque or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145˚F.
- Transfer swordfish to platter and spoon tapenade over. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.