About a week ago, we were wandering through our local Whole Foods and noticed a huge sign over the fish counter that reads “Sustainable Swordfish.” Really?? Between reading numerous reports and sustainable seafood lists, the concerns of high mercury levels and bad fishing practices, we had thought swordfish was off the books for a long time. Well, it seems a fishery in Nova Scotia has been working really hard with Whole Foods and the independent and internationally recognized Marine Stewardship Council to introduce sustainable swordfish to consumers for the summer. Dan Rand, a Whole Foods Market port buyer says ” To get this many fishermen on board 100 percent with the MSC fishery sustainability program is no easy task, and it is a testament to their commitment to the future of the fishery and the fish,” a pretty cool statement considering how much negative talk we hear about sustainability, over-fishing and our over-consumption.
The day we saw that sign over the fish counter, we were reluctant to make the purchase, we did not know about the efforts of the Nova Scotia fishing fleet or Whole Foods and just were not sure whether or not to trust that sign. We came home, did some research and felt confident enough to go back and make our purchase. We bought one swordfish steak to share and could not have been happier; with a mild, sweet and meaty texture, the steak was more than we had hoped it would be. Not wanting to overpower anything and to be frank, take too much time before we could jump into our meal, we chose to simply season the swordfish with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of ground coriander (read: coriander comes from the same plant as cilantro, it is slightly sweet with a touch of lemon). We cooked the steak on the grill, topped it with room temperature butter, a generous sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves and a spritz of lime. Then, we shared the steak in silence. It was delicious. Also try our marinated swordfish skewers.
Can’t find sustainable swordfish? Try this recipe with Mahi Mahi or Striped Bass.
For more information about sustainable seafood and which fish to avoid check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, you can download pocket sized guides specific to your location!
- 2 5-6 ounce swordfish steaks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ground coriander
- salt and pepper
- handful of cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of butter at room temperature
- 1 lime
- Preheat grill (or pan) to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the swordfish steaks with olive oil then sprinkle salt, pepper and ground coriander on each side. Grill the steaks until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the steaks. Remove the steaks and top with a dab of room temperature butter, coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and a spritz of lime juice.