Southwestern Swordfish with Peach Salsa and Spicy Kale and Corn Sauté

Monday, September 30, 2013

What happens when slow-roasted swordfish meets up with juicy peach salsa and a sauté of corn and kale studded with red peppers and onions?

Awesome on a plate, that’s what, a colorful dish with just the right balance of spicy and sweet.

Today’s recipe features Southwestern flavors to bring life—and a little kick—to succulent swordfish. It’s a perfect supper to bring late summer favorites like peaches, peppers, and corn together with hearty kale, that crazy crucifer that everyone loves to eat come autumn.

Cooking the swordfish is the easy part. I always go with a slow roast, described here, but you can use whatever method you like. Grilled would be fabulous, though I don’t have outdoor space and using my indoor grill creates a lot of smoke. The key to making fish is not to overcook it, else it becomes dry and tasteless, just like when you overcook other animal protein like chicken or steak. Speaking of which, I suppose I should mention that this dish would work quite well with poultry, another meaty fish of your choice, or tofu.

Preparing the salsa will take about ten minutes, and here’s a video to guide you. Mango salsa would work nicely, too, if you prefer (recipe here). If local peaches are in season, they will doubtless lead to a tastier dish that will support your friendly neighborhood farmers. Off season, I’d go for mangos, making sure that they are fully ripe and juicy.

Sautéing the kale happens very quickly, so you should do that once you take your fish out of the oven while it rests for 5 minutes; the recipe is here.

Plate the whole thing up, and you’re good to go.

Health Notes, For You and the Planet

Swordfish is a reasonable source of powerful omega-3 fatty acids, critical for brain and cardiovascular health—though not as high compared to oily fishes like salmon and tuna. Swordfish is a terrific source of vitamin D, selenium, and potassium, and also provides some vitamin E. Higher in protein, swordfish is unique with its mild, sweet flavor and meaty texture; it’s a great “starter” fish for those unaccustomed to enjoying seafood. (It’s certainly more like “chicken of the sea” than tuna, that’s for sure.)

For quite some time, swordfish was on the endangered list and off-limits to those looking to eat sustainably. A success story for conservation efforts, populations are almost completely recovered in North Atlantic, happily; those caught using harpoon or handlines (which avoid bycatch) are a “best choice” when it comes to consuming this succulent billfish. (More environmental considerations here.) That said, swordfish is a large species near the top of the food chain, higher in mercury than many other fishes. It can be enjoyed once in a while for healthy adults and should be avoided for pregnant women or children. You might want to check out the fabulous tool from National Geographic to help you make decisions when consuming seafood.

A tasty treat that can be part of a healthy diet, in moderation, I hope you enjoy this Southwestern swordfish recipe as much as I do.

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Dr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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