Chef Nancy Silverton
Spiedini means skewer in Italian—an easy way to grill swordfish in summer. Before threading cubes of fish on skewers, chef Silverton marinates them in an herbed lemon-olive oil mixture to infuse flavor and boost moisture retention. Grilled lemons garnish the dish with a burst of color.
2 cups packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup garlic cloves (about 12 medium or large cloves)
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
3 1/2 lbs. (1 1/2-in.-thick) skinless swordfish steaks, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-in. cubes
1 1/2 lbs. zucchini
64 fresh bay leaves, or as needed
Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing lemons
2 tsp. salt
Pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, to finish
Sea salt or fleur de sel, to finish
1 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
1. For marinade: In blender or food processor, combine parsley, olive oil, garlic and chili flakes. Puree and set aside.
2. For spiedini: Cut stems and tips of each zucchini and slice lengthwise on mandolin. Create assembly line by organizing zucchini slices, bay leaves, fish cubes and skewers on a flat work surface. Build one skewer at a time by spearing a bay leaf first and pushing it towards the bottom of skewer. Stack two zucchini slices and roll them like a fruit roll-up to meet the bay leaf. Add another bay leaf then a cube of fish. Build two more layers and assemble all skewers in same fashion.
3. Divide spiedini between two large sealable plastic bags, making sure not to puncture bags with skewers. Pour marinade into bags, dividing it evenly. Turn spiedini to coat fish on all sides and gently massage marinade into fish with hands. Set fish aside to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, or in refrigerator for up to 2 hours. Bring spiedini to room temperature before grilling.
4. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill.
5. Cut lemons in half through middle and cut 1/2-inch off pointed ends so each lemon half has two flat surfaces. Brush cut ends with olive oil.
6. Remove spiedini from marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Discard marinade.
7. Grill spiedini 14 to 16 minutes, turning to cook all sides evenly until fish is cooked through. It will be firm to the touch and won’t stick to grill.
8. While spiedini grills, place lemon halves on grill with larger center side of lemons facing down, for about 2 minutes, until lemons are golden brown. Turn lemon halves and cook smaller sides for about 30 seconds just to warm.
9. To serve, lay spiedini facing in one direction on large platter. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt and parsley. Nestle lemon halves around platter.
Photo courtesy of American Pistachio Growers