Marinating for 24 to 48 hours intensifies the flavors of this colorful stew; slow simmering on the stovetop ensures that the fish stays succulent.
Domenica Marchetti likes to use a single piece of swordfish for this recipe to keep it as moist as possible during its slow cooking. But you can use 2 pieces if you like.
- For the stew
- 2 pounds swordfish steak, in one piece
- Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 pint (12 ounces) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 5 medium cloves garlic, lightly crushed
- 1 cup pitted Gaeta or Kalamata olives
- 5 fresh bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced oregano
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- For the bruschetta
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium clove garlic, pressed
- 4 3/4-inch slices Italian country bread
- Kosher or sea salt
For the stew: Place the swordfish in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot with a lid; it should fit comfortably but snugly. Season the fish generously on all sides with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the fish with the onion, tomatoes, garlic, olives, bay leaves and oregano. Drizzle the olive oil over everything; cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
To cook the fish, remove the pot from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Place the pot on the stovetop over low heat and cook, covered, without stirring, for about 1 hour or slightly longer, until the fish is just cooked through. Check by inserting a knife into the fish and looking at the interior flesh.
Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for about 30 minutes. It should be warm but not piping hot at serving time. Discard the bay leaves.
For the bruschetta: Position the top oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the broiler element. Preheat the broiler. Have ready a rimmed baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine the oil and garlic and let it sit for 10 minutes. Arrange the bread slices on the baking sheet and brush the garlic oil on one side of each slice. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Broil the bread slices, oiled side up, for 1 to 2 minutes or until the slices are slightly charred around the edges and golden in the middle.
To serve, place a slice of bruschetta in the bottom of individual shallow rimmed soup bowls. Use a large serving spoon to scoop chunks of fish into each bowl. Spoon the stew over each serving.
Adapted from her "The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy" (Chronicle Books, 2006).
Tested by Brenna Maloney.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.