Swordfish with Salmoriglio and a Tomato, Mozzarella, and Celery Leaf Salad

30 Jul

Erica De Mane

Still Life with FishStill life with fish, Gaetano Cusati, circa 1700.

Mozzarella with tomatoes. You’d have to be brain-dead to say no to that. But mozzarella with swordfish? One of the big shocks of my Italian culinary life was visiting Sicily and seeing how often they pair fish with cheese, something I was brought up to consider bad manners. I discovered in Palermo that a sprinkling of pecorino on baked tuna is a wonderful thing. Spaghetti with shrimp and tomatoes and a little aged caciocavallo, that tasted just fine, too. I also noticed that cheese, along with bread crumbs, herbs, and maybe pine nuts and raisins, makes a wonderful filling for stuffed sardines.

Somehow I was thinking recently that the meatiness of swordfish, a popular fish in Sicily, and the plushness of mozzarella would produce a pleasant match. And they did. I tell you, it was really good.

Swordfish with salmoriglio sauce…

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