The Martha's Vinyard Cookbook
Louise Tate King & Jean Stewart Wexlar
Link to NJ Fishing Consumer Alert page Link to NJ Fishing Consumer Alert page
Charcoal-Broiled Swordfish

Two factors are important here. First, the swordfish steaks should be marinated in an aromatic mixture of herbs, oil, lemon juice, and seasonings after being cut into serving-size portions. But, more important: never, never purchase anything but the freshest swordfish. During the summer, this is not difficult if one lives in the North Atlantic states (though we, of course, feel Vineyard-bought swordfish is matchless). At the risk of antagonizing the frozen-food processors, we do not recommend frozen swordfish at any time. 

[Link to swordfish boycott sectionto a section addressing an attempted swordfish consumer boycott that is far off target] 

  • Swordfish, 1/2 to 3/4 pound per serving, cut at least 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Marinade (see below)
  • Lemon wedges
  • Melted butter
Marinate fish pieces at least 4 hours, turning several times. Drain pieces well; broil over charcoal (or about 4 inches from broiler heat in your kitchen range) about 6 to 7 minutes on each side for 1/2-inch slices, or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges and pour a little melted butter over the top. 

Note: The fish may be broiled on one side only - approximately 12 to 14 minutes. 

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil)
  • Very small pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced (optional)
Stir together all ingredients. 

Makes about 1 1/2 cups. 


(After a recipe in The Martha's Vineyard Cookbook by Louise Tate King and Jean Stewart Wexlar, 1993, The Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook, Conn.)