When the weather is hot and you don’t have central air conditioning, using the oven and the stove are not very appealing. Even baking something for just a few minutes can turn the kitchen into a sauna. That is when an outdoor grill can be really handy. Some people reserve the grill for hot dogs and hamburgers on the weekends only, but there is no reason not to fire up the grill for a quick and healthy weeknight supper.
Unfortunately, the problem of warm weather has not been an issue in Boston. The last couple of days have been downright cold. For this dish I stayed in my comfortably warm kitchen and used our grill pan in place of the outdoor grill. (The grill pan works really well for grilling pretty much everything.)
Whether prepared indoors or outdoors, this dish is wonderful. The flavorful chunky vegetables paired so nicely with the firm swordfish steaks. For not using very many spices, the flavor factor of the caponata was off the charts. Each bite contained different vegetables—you may get a piece of eggplant and a caper in one bite and then a tomato and olive in the next. This meal was really satisfying and balanced. And it is so simple to make! The caponata is so versatile it could be served on its own as a side or with crackers as an appetizer.
Grilled Swordfish with Grilled Caponata:
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise
- 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into rings
- 4-6 plum or roma tomatoes, halved
- Olive oil, for brushing vegetables, plus 1/2 cup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup green olives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
Heat grill on high. Brush all vegetables with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray) and season with salt and pepper. Grill both sides of the eggplant slices until cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Grill both sides of the onion slices until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Grill the tomatoes (seed side down) until charred and soft, about 3 minutes. Remove all vegetables from heat and cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Put all vegetables into a bowl. Add the olives, capers, and pine nuts to the bowl of vegetables and use a wooden spoon to toss to combine.
In a small bowl combine the vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in about 1/2 cup of olive oil.* Pour this dressing over vegetables and toss so that all are well-coated with dressing. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.
- 2-4 swordfish steaks
- olive oil or cooking spray
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Caponata (see recipe above)
Heat grill to high. Brush both sides of swordfish steaks with olive oil or coat with cooking spray. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook swordfish steaks until done, about 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Remove from grill and top with grilled caponata.
*I actually didn’t use the 1/2 cup olive oil in the dressing and it was just fine without it.