Our friends Beth and Peter are with us from California for a few days and we’re anxious to share some of Long Island’s best with them. This will include the spectacular weather we’re experiencing, our glorious beaches—less crowded now that a lot of our summer population is already off to college—and, of course, the incredible bounty of great things to eat that we’re blessed with at this moment.
Now that I’m showcasing Monte’s Ham and Monte’s Ham glaze at two local farmers’ markets, I feel like I’m in the thick of things. I happily dip into the profits to buy heirloom tomatoes, wonderful seedless watermelons, and this week, beautiful big fennel bulbs that are just coming into their own. The fennel gives me a chance to revisit a Tyler Florence recipe first tried when Andrew’s sister, Lauren, visited earlier in the month. Why didn’t we post it then? Well, truth be told, if we’re pressed for time sometimes we don’t get the camera out to record what we’re cooking. Then there are times when we go all out with our camera only to be disappointed in the end result. But I’d have to say the only disappointing thing about Tyler’s recipe for Swordfish and Fennel was that we didn’t give it to you earlier.
A word about swordfish. Not too long ago, it was on the endangered list and beyond that, was a cause for concern because of its mercury content. The good news is it’s made a remarkable recovery in numbers, has been de-listed and as to mercury, the fish is still recommended to be eaten in small quantities (a 7 ounce serving a month) by women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant, and by the rest of us in a similar serving once a week. This recipe will satisfy your craving for the wonderful firm fish –in this case, line-caught off Long Island.
Tyler has a refreshingly simple approach to cooking. He’s right up there with Ina Garten in terms of making life in the kitchen easy. His superb “Tyler’s Ultimate” has been the starting place for 6 recipes we’ve already shared with you. So take it away Tyler and here’s his recipe:
Recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Lemon Aioli and Roasted Fennel
2 Fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Lemon Aioli
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
1 cup Mayonnaise (We’ve been using Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayo—its’ half the calories of the regular Hellman’s and we think it’s even more delicious
Extra-Virgin olive oil
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 Swordfish steaks, about 1 inch thick (1- ½ to 2 lbs. total)
Handful of fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the fennel in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Put the fennel on a baking sheet and roast about 25 -30 minutes until soft and caramelized.
2. Meanwhile, put a large grill pan on the stove and preheat over medium-high heat. Alternatively, prepare an outdoor grill making sure to brush the grate with oil to avoid sticking.
3. While the grill heats, stir the lemon zest and juice into the mayo. Add a little olive oil and taste for salt and pepper.
4. When the grill in hot, rub the swordfish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the fish on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side until barely translucent in the center. In a second preheated pan, add the roasted fennel and cook a few minutes more on each side. Put the fish on a platter with the fennel and garnish with the basil. Serve with the lemon aioli. Serves 4.