Swordfish Piccata

Swordfish Piccata

Learning to build a pan sauce is the highest yielding 25 minutes you'll ever spend in a kitchen. Pay attention to the flame at each step. Use high heat to sear properly and develop fond in the pan, reduced heat to add acid and build flavor, and then no heat at all — turn the burner off! — to whisk in the cold butter and build up your elegant, emulsified, (life-altering) pan sauce.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 2 persons



  1. Step 1

    Season the swordfish gently but evenly on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Step 2

    Dredge the fish in the flour, patting off any excess.
  3. Step 3

    In a cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat grapeseed oil until just smoking over medium-high heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of the butter until melted and bubbling, about 30 seconds.
  4. Step 4

    Place the swordfish in the pan and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes each side. Work in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  5. Step 5

    Transfer the swordfish to a warm plate, and remove any excess fat from the sauté pan.
  6. Step 6

    While the pan is still hot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter, sweat the shallots and cook until soft and cooked through, being careful not to brown. About 30 seconds.
  7. Step 7

    Deglaze the pan with the white wine, and reduce by half.
  8. Step 8

    Add the capers and lemon juice, and cook for 1 minute.
  9. Step 9

    Take the pan off the heat, and add in the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, swirling the pan continuously to emulsify the butter.
  10. Step 10

    Add in the minced parsley, and season to taste.
  11. Step 11

    Spoon the sauce over the fish, and garnish with a lemon cheek and a parsley stem.