Thanks to Mezzetta for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. #Mezzetta
Looking for a swoon-worthy summer dinner without a lot of fuss? Grilled swordfish steaks with a caper and Castelvetrano olive relish is a ridiculously simple, naturally low-carb, keto and paleo-inspired recipe that tastes like a Mediterranean vacation at home. (‘Cause if your summer vacay is a stay-cay, it needs to be easy!)
When you can’t travel for a proper vacation getaway do the next best thing and treat yourself to a mini stay-cation. Mix up your favorite blender drinks, set up the patio umbrellas and fire up the grill, to treat yourself to a restaurant-quality meal in your own back yard. It’s easy with a few pantry staples from Mezzetta. From sweet and spicy peppers, to olives, sauces and premium specialty items, Mezzetta is a one-stop shop to elevate my favorite simple recipes with ease.
Ingredients for Castelvetrano olive relish
- Mezzetta Castelvetrano Olives
- Mezzetta Non Pareil Capers
- Shelled Pistachios
- Fresh Dill
- Italian Parsley
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Mezzetta’s mild Castelvetrano olives and their tangy, briny capers are the basis for this quick and easy olive relish. the flavors are lively and fresh and they’re as good on these grilled swordfish steaks as on chicken, pork, veal or other seafood. This buttery, briny, nutty condiment adds bright flavors and texture to the simple grilled fish and veggies.
What do Castelvetrano olives taste like?
Unlike most briny, punchy green olives, Castelvetrano olives are special. They’re very mild, buttery and smooth. Mezzetta has pitted Castelvetrano olives in a jar, which makes it even easier to assemble this simple olive relish.
Do I need to rinse capers?
Many capers are brined in a vinegary, salty blend and while it’s fine to use them directly from the jar, for this olive relish, I prefer to rinse them, so that the delicate flavor of the caper berries shines through.
To make caper olive relish
- Use the flat side of a chef’s knife or santoku and gently press to crush the Mezzetta castelvetrano olives. Transfer them to a bowl.
- Rinse the capers with fresh water in a sieve, then roughly chop them and add to the olives.
- Chop the pistachios and add them to the relish.
- Add the chopped dill and parsley, followed by the zest of the lemon and its juice.
- Stir in the olive oil and taste for seasoning. You can add salt and pepper if you like, but I enjoy the clean, mild flavors as they are.
- Another option is to stir in a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for heat.
Can I make the relish in advance?
This nutty olive caper relish can be made a few hours ahead of time or even a few days ahead (though if you do it, I’d recommend adding the pistachios at the last minute so they retain their crunch). That said, this easy condiment only takes about 10 minutes to assemble, thanks to the convenience of Mezzetta and limited number of ingredients and steps.
If you or someone else in your midst doesn’t like to eat fish, because of the “fishy” taste, here’s a few tips on how to avoid it.
Choosing & trimming swordfish steaks
- First, and most obvious, is to make sure your fish is fresh. The skin should be opaque and firm, without any residue of slime. The flesh should smell fresh (like the sea) and anytime you’re buying whole fish with the head-on look for clear eyes that aren’t milky or cloudy. That means buying your seafood from a reputable seafood market (personally, I’d avoid the grocery store) and having a good, friendly relationship with your fishmonger, so they’ll give you the best, most fresh cuts.
- Order swordfish steaks that are about 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ thick. Like any steak, a hefty thick cut is impressive and gives you more of that “vacation-vibe”. You can cut them into smaller sized portions for smaller appetites, but a thicker piece will stay moist and tender.
- Third, remove the bloodline. The bloodline in a dark patch of flesh that runs through the fish (you’ll find it in mahi mahi, snapper, grouper and all fish, really). The bloodline holds a fishier taste than the rest of the white-fleshed fish. Since one swordfish steak can weigh 1-2 pounds depending on thickness, I cut them into smaller serving sizes and remove the darker red and black bloodline while trimming the steaks into individual portions.
Preparing the swordfish steaks and veggies
Swordfish is a very meaty, mild fish that eats almost like a beef steak (except it’s way more tender and flaky), and while you can use whatever seafood you like in this recipe, if you can get your hands on some fresh swordfish, it’s well worth it.
Which vegetables to grill with this al fresco summer meal is completely subjective and really should be based on whatever is fresh at the market. Since I’m writing this in August, fresh garden zucchini, yellow squash and sweet bell peppers were on the menu, but feel free to ad-lib.
Best veggies for grilling
- Red Onions
- Sweet Vidalia Onions
- Portabello Mushrooms
- Red Potatoes (par-boiled, peeled & cut into 1/2″ rounds)
- Bell Peppers
- Yellow Squash
- Asparagus – (insert 2 pre-soaked wooden skewers into asparagus spears perpendicular to the veg and thread up to 8 or so asparagus onto the skewers (kind of like creating an asparagus raft. They’re easier to grill and won’t fall between the grates.
Prep & grill veg and seafood
- To prepare the veggies for grilling cut them into pieces that can lay flat on the grill.
- Slice the squash and zucchini into 1/4 – 1/2″ planks, and divvy the bell peppers into thirds.
- Lightly brush the veggies and swordfish steaks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (You don’t need to aggressively season them, because that’s what the Castelvetrano olive relish is for.)
This chunky, lively lemony olive caper relish with crunchy pistachios and dill really ties the swordfish steaks and grilled vegetables into a completely cohesive meal. Serve with a chilled Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé, it’s a healthy, light meal that you could easily be enjoying at a waterside café on a beach vacation. Perfect for our summer stay-cations this year.
More summery stay-cation recipes:
- Spanish Salmorejo (chilled tomato soup)
- Florida Style Smoked Whitefish Dip
- Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple Bourbon Glaze
- Grilled Octopus
- Mango Lime Cornmeal Cake
- Cherry Amaretto Peach Crisp
- Tropical Planter’s Punch
Swordfish with Olive Relish
FOR THE FISH AND VEGGIES:
- 1 1/2 pounds swordfish steaks about 1 1/4" thick
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 medium yellow squash
- 3 sweet bell peppers yellow, orange, red
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- sprinkle kosher salt
- sprinkle black pepper
FOR THE OLIVE RELISH
- 1 cup Mezzetta Castrelvetano Olives crushed with the flat side of a knife
- 1 tablespoon Mezzetta NonPareil Capers roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachios chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley chopped
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE OLIVE RELISH:
- In a small bowl, combine the crushed olives, chopped capers, pistachios, dill, parsley, lemon zest and juice and olive oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary adding more lemon, dill or parsley. If you like a bit of salt or pepper, you can add it to your tastes. Set aside.
FOR THE FISH AND VEGGIES:
- Preheat the grill to a medium high heat (about 450°).
- While the grill heats, prep the veggies and fish. Cut the zucchini and squash lengthwise into 1/4" planks. Brush both sides with a little olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to a sheet pan.
- Cut the bell peppers into thirds. Remove the stem, ribs and seeds. Brush with olive oil and lightly salt and pepper them. Transfer the peppers to the sheet pan with zucchini.
FOR THE SWORDFISH:
- Cut the fish into 4-6 individual servings (depending on appetites). Brush the fish with olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper.
TO GRILL FISH AND VEGGIES:
- The bell peppers will take a little longer than the zucchini and squash to cook through. Put them on the grill first, cut side down. Grill the peppers for about 3-4 minutes before adding the zucchini and squash to the grill.
- Arrange the zucchini and squash in a single layer on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until grill marks are visible. Flip the peppers, zucchini and squash and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until crisp tender. Transfer the vegetables to the rimmed sheet pan.
- Add the swordfish steaks to the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes on the first side. Do not fuss with the fish while it cooks. Just let it do its thing, otherwise you could mess up your grill marks. Flip the swordfish and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, according to your tastes. Note: if your steaks are on the thinner side, they'll cook more quickly, so pay attention to the steaks.
- Arrange the veggies and fish on a platter. Garnish with additional parsley and dill and spoon the olive relish over the fish and veg.