Braised Swordfish, White Beans


Fresh Pacific Swordfish
Braised in Tomato Jalapeño Caper Sauce
Over Cannellini Drizzled with Olive Oil
Chervil Garnish

A recipe in the January issue of Food & Wine caught my eye. They made theirs with penne pasta and flaked the swordfish. Here I serve the intact filet over white beans. The swordfish is braised in a zesty tomato sauce with anchovy, garlic, jalapeño, capers and white wine.

Rinse and dry swordfish filets, then cut into 4 oz. portions.

Swordfish is a terrific source of selenium, niacin, and vitamin B12, and contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health. Although swordfish is known to contain methyl mercury and, according to the FDA, should not be consumed by  pregnant women, women planning to become pregnant, and children, the rest of the adult population should consider including swordfish in their diet, as the associated benefits outweigh potential risks.

Once heavily overfished, swordfish have rebounded and are currently at healthy population levels. (from the NOAA)

In reading about the nutritional value of swordfish I came across this story by the University of California Sea Grant Program: Only one suspected case of methyl mercury poisoning occurred in the U.S. from eating fish. A woman on a fad diet ate 12-1/2 ounces of swordfish a day for 10 months. The woman developed mild mercury poisoning symptoms. She was off her diet for 5 months and lost almost all her symptoms by the time the doctors suspected mercury poisoning. Samples of her hair, however, still retained high but not toxic mercury levels. Doctors could not confirm the diagnosis of mild mercury poisoning, but believed the excessive consumption of swordfish caused the symptoms.

Oy. Please eat swordfish responsibly.

Sauté chopped garlic and sliced jalapeño in olive oil.

Add anchovy, stir until dissolved.

Add 1/2 c. white wine and reduce by half.

Then add a 28 oz. can of chopped tomatoes and simmer.

Rinse capers in warm water.

Add seasoned swordfish filets and capers to the pan.

Cover and cook over low heat until the fish is cooked through.

Taste the sauce, add salt and pepper if necessary.


Place rinsed and drained cannellini in a bowl, drizzle with good olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt. Top with swordfish and sauce. Garnish with a fresh herb, I just love chervil with its petite lacy leaves.

This coming Monday I am excited to be joining Todd & Diane, the White on Rice Couple, at a workshop they are hosting called Food Writing for Blogs & Print led by Amy Scattergood in Downtown Los Angeles.

While I was looking up an adjective for the tomato sauce I came across this helpful definition: having a sharp taste is pungent and having a pleasingly sharp taste is piquant. Looking forward to the writing workshop!

18 thoughts on “Braised Swordfish, White Beans”

  1. L – This dish looks fabulous, and I love your line – eat swordfish responsibly. LOL! I’m excited about your writing class with White on Rice couple, hopefully you can share a bit of what you’ve learned. xo, Christine

  2. Yes, swordfish is one of my favorite fish to eat, but only occasionally. I cook it similar to how you made yours, but have never served it with beans. I love that idea. Please do share some of your writing class tips.

  3. Hahaha, I guess you just have to be careful where you get your fish 😀 Anyway, I loved how you plated your dish!

    I used to think that wasabe paste was spicy, but my father made me realize that sensation is pungent, which I believe is usually used to describe smell of things.

    Looking forward to you next post and recipies.

  4. I love, love, love that you served this over beans instead of pasta! I’m on a mission to lower my carb intake and this would help! Have fun this week!
    Great recipe, thanks for sharing!

  5. I had stopped eating swordfish because of overfishing. I must keep up! Love the bits of jalapeno and anchovy in the braising sauce. And then the capers – oh my – all those “piquant” tastes. Hope you share your writing tips – what grand fun it all is.

  6. Another astoundingly beautiful photo and sumptuous meal. I like the innovative way of using the beans.
    Well, I cooked this weekend…meat-loaf, boiled chicken, boiled potatoes, steamed broccolli, green bean & kidney bean (canned) salad… eatible but soooo dull. I’m counting on progressing in baby steps 😛 .

  7. I just did a class on Friday night with swordfish over a bed of corn “off the cob” sauteed with red peppers. I purchased my swordfish IQF from my wholesaler and have several fillets left. This will definitely go on my to try list. Thanks for the great idea!

  8. Love the look of that dish, your photography is fantastic Lori! I make a similar Spanish recipe using white beans cooked with chorizo and topped with fried halibut. I find these combinations of sea and other meats very delicious.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *