California Central Coast Recipes

Swordfish with Sage and Wine Reduction

Sword with Sage and Wine Reduction is a simple but very elegant way to prepare swordfish or any firm white flesh fish. It is inspired by the French method of preparation, but instead of butter we use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for sauteing. The result is lighter in taste but equally complex.

In the cooking process we use two different olive oils. We first saute the fish over low heat (so as not to burn the olive oil) with our "house" extra virgin olive made from Mission and Manzanillo olives -which is our staple for sauteing and cooking in general. This is a very mild extra virgin olive. When the fish is done, we remove it and we add wine and lemon juice to the pan to make a reduction with the pan juices.

Finally, with the pan off heat, we swirl into the wine reduction two tablespoons of Tuscan style extra virgin olive oil. Tuscan style oil is much more peppery than our house olive oil, and we definitely do not want to heat it or it will loose all of the phenols and flavors which make Tuscan style extra virgin olive oil so special.

If you cannot get fresh Brussels sprouts -or if you do not care for them (what a pity!), steamed broccoli works equally with this dish. ©2018, Swordfish with Sage and Wine Reduction
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


1/2 pound Fresh Brussels sprouts
1 pound Halibut or Swordfish Steaks or fillets , about 1 inch thick, all skin removed.
2 Tablespoons Mild Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Tuscan Style Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Milk
1/3 cup unflavored dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoons Fresh Sage Leaves finely chopped or dried sage preferably "rubbed"
1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoons Fresh Ground Black pepper
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Preparation Directions.

1 Mix the bread crumbs, sage, flour and pepper together in a shallow pan.

2 In a separate shallow pan or dish, add the milk. Dip the fish in to the milk and coat all sides of the fish.

3 Then dip the fish in to the flour-crumb mixture and coat the steaks evenly.

4 Add the "house" olive to the saute pan over medium low heat. Bring the olive oil up to heat - it should not be smoking.

5 Shake off any excess coating on the fish steaks and add them to the saute pan. Cook one side first until brown, then flip and cook the other side until brown, about 4 minutes each side. Adjust the heat so that the fish is cooking, but the olive oil is not smoking.

6 When done, remove the fish and place on a warm plate and cover to keep warm.

7 Add the wine and lemon juice to the saute pan to de-glaze the pan. Bring the heat up to high and reduce the wine-lemon mixture by 1/3 to 1/2 or until the mixture appears a bit syrupy. Remove the pan off the heat and swirld in the 2 tablespoon of reserve extra virgin olive oil.

8 While the fish is cooking, prepare the Brussels sprouts. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and any loose outer leaves. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the stem.

9 Place the Brussels sprouts into a steamer and steam for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender.

10 To serve, place each fish steak on a warm plate and arrange the Brussels sprouts -split in halves, attractively around the fish, drizzle the wine reduction over the fish and some over the Brussels sprouts if you like.

11 Serve with a simple carbohydrate like Riso pasta or better yet Fregola -see my article: A New Find: Fregola.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

A good wine selection for this dish would be a dry white wine like a Sauvignon or Fume Blanc.

If you are a bit more adventurous try a good young Chardonnay without much oak or a Viognier.

A tip from Sue!

Get a Black Pepper Mill

There's nothing that substitutes for freshly cracked black pepper. You can find pepper mills in all price ranges. Just get one that looks like it will hold up well over continual use. Freshly cracked black pepper can really enhance the smell and final taste of a recipe!