Pistachio-Cilantro Crusted Swordfish

by Gavan on January 17, 2009

Pistachio-Cilantro SwordfishPistachio Crusted Swordfish

Ah yes, the elusive Swordfish. These suckers sure do have a bad rap, don’t they? Firstly, at the end of the 20th century, the North Atlantic swordfish was on its way to being wiped out, the victim of years of overfishing and mismanagement. Secondly, swordfish contain alarmingly elevated levels of mercury. It’s no wonder we’ve all scaled back on consuming this remarkable-looking species. You’ll be surprised to know, due to strict regulations imposed by the U.S. and by outstanding efforts made by the NDRC, that our swordfish populations are almost fully recovered in the North Atlantic in present day.

Since I’m a conscientious chef and eater I looked up the Eco-grade of swordfish as well. According to the Environmental Defence Fund, they got an OK rating; “OK for the environment, enjoy in moderation.” Moderation! My favorite word!

DISCLAIMER *Pregnant women are advised AGAINST eating swordfish so don’t come after me because this looks so good!*

Serves 6

6 x 6oz swordfish steaks
1 cup veg. broth

Crust recipe:
8 oz (about 1 cup) dry roasted pistachios
1/3 cup cilantro
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt


Pulse the pistachios in a food processor for 20 seconds to a coarse breadcrumb consistency. Finely chop the cilantro by hand and place in a medium mixing bowl along with the pistachios, olive oil and S&P. Mix with a spoon and set aside until needed.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place the swordfish fillets on a foiled oven tray. Season both sides with S&P. Place a tbsp of the pistachio crust on each fillet and spread evenly on top. If more crust is needed apply sparingly in a nice even layer on top of the fish. Add broth to tray and pop into oven for 8 minutes. To finish place under high heat broiler for additional minute or until topping has browned.

Swordfish is one of those fish that’s easily overcooked so the method of adding the broth creates some steam in the oven and will help with the moisture level. There’s nothing worse than dry overcooked fish, not good.

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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