This Grilled Swordfish with Basil Pesto is a quick, easy, and flavor-packed main course that’s perfect for barbecues and cookouts!
The last time I talked swordfish here at Champagne Tastes, I was in full training mode. I was training, both on the trail and at the gym, for my Grand Canyon backpacking trip, and wanted to switch up my diet with some ‘meatier’ fish.
This past May, after eating tons of protein-packed fish, and completing months of preparation– we laced up our hiking boots, strapped on our backpacks, grabbed our hiking sticks– and headed down the South Kaibab Trail into the Grand Canyon.
Seven hours later, after gawking at mountain goats, unbelievable views, and a few (pretty smelly) mule trains, celebrating by sticking our toes in the mighty Colorado River, made camp, and then rested our worn-out feet in Bright Angel Creek right next to our tent.
And then the next morning, before the sun even thought about rising, we packed up our tent and bags using flashlights, and headed back out along the Bright Angel Trail. When we got home, instead of switching up my gym routine (as I intended to), I kept right on canyon-training– because I need to stand inside that beast of a canyon again!
Do you camp or backpack? Check out these camping recipes!
Maybe you’ve been hitting the trails too, or maybe you just love–or want to try– denser, meatier cuts of fish! Swordfish, much like ahi tuna, is usually sold in thick steaks instead of fillets. Swordfish steaks hold up beautifully on the grill, and these Grilled Swordfish with Basil Pesto steaks are EASY to cook, and ready in minutes!
What does Swordfish taste like?
Are you familiar with swordfish? Quite honestly, the first time I bought it, it was on a whim.
Then I got home, stared at it, and thought– “What in the world do I do with this?” If you are also staring in confusion at piece of swordfish, here’s what you need to know.
Swordfish has a firm, solid texture, similar to mahi mahi. If you know a self-proclaimed ‘fish hater’– try feeding them swordfish. It has a mild, delicate flavor, and isn’t ‘fishy’ at all.
What is Basil Pesto? Can I Use Store-Bought Pesto?
Basil pesto is a mixture of fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese.
For this recipe, you can use either homemade or store-bought basil pesto.
Shopping Tip: When you’re shopping for pesto, try to find a jar that lists ‘basil’ ahead of ‘oil’ on the ingredients list– the flavor will be better!
How to Grill Swordfish
To make this Grilled Swordfish, start by heating up your grill! While the grill heats up, take your (now thawed) swordfish steaks and pat them dry.
Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and then generously rub some basil pesto over both sides. Once the grill is hot, set the swordfish steaks on the grill, and let them cook about three minutes per side. Serve these seafood steaks while they’re still hot, and enjoy your thick and meaty cut of swordfish!
Want more tips about how to grill seafood? Check out this post on How to Grill Fish!
Tip on Seafood Safety and Mercury: Swordfish is delicious, but keep it mind that since it’s at the higher end of the ocean’s food chain, it’s likely to have higher mercury levels than some other fish. This is a fish to enjoy on special occasions, not on a daily basis.
Want more GRILLED SEAFOOD? Try these:
- King Salmon Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Plum Sauce
- Sockeye Salmon Recipe: Grilled Chili Lime Salmon
- Grilled Fish Tacos
Want some SIDE DISH ideas to serve with this grilled swordfish? Try these:
- Oven-Roasted Broccoli with Chili Flakes
- Garlic Cauliflower Mash
- Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apple Cider Vinegar
Grilled Swordfish with Basil Pesto
- 2 swordfish steaks (about 4oz each)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 TB basil pesto
- fresh herbs to garnish, such as diced basil or green onion (optional)
- Preheat grill to high.
- While grill preheats, pat swordfish steaks dry and season both sides with salt. Rub a thin layer of basil pesto over both sides of the steaks.
- Once the grill is hot, grill steaks for 3 minutes. Flip, and grill for 3 more minutes. Serve immediately, adding herb garnish if desired.