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.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ½pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1cup chopped fresh tomatoes (any kind will work)
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2garlic cloves, grated or minced
- ⅓cup dry white wine or rosé (or use chicken or vegetable broth)
- 2tablespoons chopped, pitted Castelvetrano or other green olives
- 1tablespoon drained capers
- 1 ½pounds swordfish, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (see Note)
- ¼cup chopped parsley
- Torn basil leaves, for garnish
- Lemon or lime juice, to taste (optional)
Step 1Set a broiler rack 4 inches from the heat source, and heat the broiler. If grilling, heat your grill.
Step 2In 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.
Step 3As 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.
Step 4Add 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.
Step 5Add 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.
Step 6Without 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.
Step 7Return 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.