Swordfish With Caramelized Eggplant and Capers

Swordfish With Caramelized Eggplant and Capers

Soft, caramelized eggplant and chunks of meaty swordfish vie for your attention in this complexly flavored main course. The eggplant, first broiled, then simmered with wine, diced fresh tomatoes, olives and capers, collapses into a silky caponata-like sauce. The swordfish, enriched with butter and spiked with garlic and herbs, becomes meltingly tender. If you’d rather not use swordfish, you can substitute fresh tuna or even chunks of boneless, skinless chicken breast. Serve it with rice, polenta or crusty bread to sop up every last, tender morsel.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Set a broiler rack 4 inches from the heat source, and heat the broiler. If grilling, heat your grill.
  2. Step 2

    In a large bowl or on a rimmed baking sheet, toss eggplant with just enough oil to coat, and season with salt. Broil or grill until golden all over and charred in spots, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Step 3

    As eggplant broils, or after you've grilled it, heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons oil, and, when it’s hot, add onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté until onion is lightly browned in spots and soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup water, and simmer until the tomato breaks down and turns saucy, about 5 minutes. If the pan starts to dry out, add a splash of water.
  5. Step 5

    Add eggplant to the pan, along with a drizzle of oil, and turn heat to medium-low. Cook until the mixture is very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and season with more salt, if needed, and plenty of pepper. Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggplant mixture to a bowl and set aside. Raise heat to medium.
  6. Step 6

    Without wiping out the pan, add butter and let it melt. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine, olives, capers and a small pinch of salt, and bring to a simmer. Add swordfish, and let cook, gently turning the pieces with a spoon so they don’t fall apart, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Step 7

    Return eggplant mixture to the pan and gently stir in parsley. Heat until the mixture bubbles, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with basil leaves and a squeeze of lemon or lime, if you like, and serve immediately.