Marinated Swordfish With Avocado Salsa 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Everyday Dorie Apr 8, 2015

Here, a zesty citrus marinade and a creamy-crunchy salsa provide a one-two punch of flavor for swordfish steaks.

The fish can be grilled outdoors or indoors on a grill pan, in which case you wouldn't need the tablespoon or so of canola oil.

This is also good served at room temperature.

Make Ahead: The fish needs to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. The salsa can be assembled (without the avocado), covered and refrigerated a few hours in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the swordfish
  • Finely grated zest and juice from 2 lemons (1 1/2 teaspoons zest and 5 teaspoons juice)
  • Finely grated zest and juice from 1 large orange (1 1/3 teaspoons zest and 1/4 cup juice)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, white and light-green parts only
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems (reserve the leaves for the salsa)
  • Sliver of jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon honey (may substitute pinch of sugar)
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 slices swordfish, each about 5 ounces and 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, or more as needed
  • For the salsa
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (not packed) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion, rinsed in cold water and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flesh of 1 large, firm but ripe avocado, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


For the marinade: Combine the lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, extra-virgin olive oil, scallions, cilantro stems (to taste), jalapeño, sea salt, honey and cayenne pepper in a gallon-size zip-top bag (or nonreactive baking dish). Add the swordfish and seal the bag, first pressing out as much air as possible. Gently massage/turn to coat the fish. Let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour, turning the bag over from time to time, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. (If you have refrigerated the fish, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.)

Meanwhile, make the salsa: Combine the tomatoes, red bell pepper, cilantro, red onion, mint, sea salt, black and cayenne peppers, and the extra-virgin olive oil in a mixing bowl, tossing gently to incorporate.

To cook the swordfish and finish the salsa: Remove the fish from the marinade. Scrape any ingredients that may have stuck to the fish back into the marinade; transfer the marinade to a small saucepan. Use paper towels to gently pat the fish dry.

Working in a large skillet (nonstick is good here) over medium-high heat, warm the canola oil; once it shimmers, add the swordfish. If your skillet isn't large enough to hold the 4 pieces, cook the fish in two batches, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Cook for 3 minutes, then carefully turn the fish over and cook for about 2 minutes or until the flesh is opaque to the middle. Transfer the fish to a platter.

Bring the marinade to a boil over high heat; cook for about 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Spoon some of the marinade over each piece of fish, and pour the rest into a pitcher to be passed at the table.

Add the avocado and lemon juice to the salsa and toss to incorporate. Spoon some salsa on top of each piece of fish and serve. If you have leftover salsa, bring it to the table.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Tested by Helen Horton.

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