Swordfish with Caramelized Figs and Caper Salsa Verde

By: The Local Palate
pieces of swordfish cooking on the grill

Explore various flavor palates with this unique swordfish dish from Charlottesville, Virginia chef Ian Rynecki. The contrasting flavors of the delicate sweetness of caramelized figs, refreshing caper salsa verde, and robust swordfish create the perfect balance of bold and understated flavors. Enjoy this sweet and savory meal on a late summer outdoor evening or a cozy fall dinner with friends and family.

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Serves 4

    For the caper salsa verde:
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup capers packed in salt, soaked and drained
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup grapeseed oil
  • For the swordfish:
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil, divided
  • 12 Chicago hardy figs, cut in half
  • 4 (6-ounce) swordfish steaks
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Make the caper salsa verde:

  1. In a blender, pulse parsley, cilantro, capers, anchovies, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and zest. Continue blending at medium speed and slowly drizzle in olive oil and grapeseed oil. (Rynecki says don’t go too slowly, as the friction from the blender will “cook” the parsley and cilantro. If this starts to happen, drop in an ice cube and continue to blend.) 

Make the swordfish:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium cast-iron pan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil. Place fig halves in pan. Cook for 60 seconds, making sure to not overcook, as sugars burn quickly. Flip each fig using fish spatula or other thin metal to avoid smashing them. Cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from pan. 
  2. Season swordfish with salt and pepper. In the same cast-iron pan used for figs, heat rest of grapeseed oil over medium-high. Sear swordfish on each side for 3 minutes. Transfer to small sheet pan. Finish cooking in oven until desired doneness. Arrange steaks between caramelized fig halves. Top with caper salsa verde. 
  • Recipe By
    From Ian Rynecki of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in Charlottesville, Virginia

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