I walked into Walgreens yesterday and could not believe my eyes. Their Halloween decorations were up already! Now I L O V E Halloween (especially making this spooky recipe), but it’s only mid-August and the first day of Fall is still over a month away. Sorry, but I am NOT ready to say goodbye to Summer just yet. Thankfully, this delicious recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce helps make the transition from Summer into Fall not only painless, but extremely enjoyable.
While cooking on the grill is synonymous with Summer, the rich, oily texture of the swordfish and smoky, peppery Romesco sauce conjure thoughts and flavors of Fall. I love this culinary yin-yang that makes this delightful dish perfect for savoring the remaining weeks of Summer. And what’s better than enjoying great food with friends? We were fortunate to collaborate on this meal with some wonderful friends who just happened to have some fresh, delicious swordfish steaks on hand! As we prepared the sauce and fish, their beautiful daughter (who had just broken her arm, poor thing!) picked flowers from the yard at Chez Miskew to make a gorgeous arrangement featuring gardenias, jasmine and allamanda.
Romesco sauce originated in the seaside town of Tarragona in Northeastern Spain. The sauce is a mixture of almonds and hazelnuts, roasted red peppers, garlic, Sherry vinegar and olive oil that was invented by local fishermen. Using a traditional mortar and pestle, they would grind the ingredients together, much like an Italian pesto or French tapenade, to serve with the day’s catch. Over time, different variations of the sauce have emerged such as Salvitxada, which is Romesco that’s been thickened with garlic-rubbed, toasted bread. The hearty flavors and textures of the Romesco sauce also make an excellent accompaniment for chicken and beef as well.
The ideal wine pairing for Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce is a dry, Spanish white wine that mirrors its flavors and texture like the Bodegas Palacio Cosme Palacio White Rioja. Made from a blend of Viura and Malvasia grapes, this lovely wine has fragrant aromatics of pear and citrus and a creamy, rich texture that mirrors that of the swordfish. The wine also has a delightful spiciness, thanks to a little time spent in French oak, and notes of almond and citrus that highlight the acid and nutty flavors in the sauce beautifully. When pairing food and wine I usually like to stick with the tenet, “If it grows together it goes together,” whenever possible (like here and here). However, if you’re unable to find a white Rioja to pair with this dish, a full-bodied white like a New World Chardonnay with a kiss of oak will also make a very nice pairing.
I hope you enjoy our recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce and that it helps you make the seasonal transition seamlessly! Do YOU have any recipes that get you through the Summer to Fall transition? If so, I’d LOVE to hear about them in the Comments sections below.