swordfish

Swordfish with fennel, olives, and thyme

BY BILL ST. JOHN
Significant numbers of people enjoy red wine with fish, beyond the impending pairing of Rosh Hashanah’s gefilte fish with Manischewitz. Red wines carry more tannin than do whites, an element that scours fish oil from the palate. White wine’s more assertive acidity can do the same, although often less successfully. But the preparation of the fish is important; with each added element, a red sounds better and better. The swordfish in this recipe is a cow that swims: meaty, chewy, textured, best cooked slightly rare on the inside—just like steak. All three wines of the month recommended with this swordfish nicely accompany it, both the white and the reds.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons slightly fruity olive oil
• 1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced (or 1/2 medium bulb)
• 1/2 cup pitted green, black, or purple olives
• Lemon wedges

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

Makes 2 servings
Sprinkle steaks with half the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat; add the fennel. Cook, stirring, until fennel softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olives; season with other half of thyme. Push fennel and olives to one side. Add the swordfish. Cook until lightly colored on one side, about 3 minutes, then flip. Cover skillet. Cook until fish is almost cooked through, about 7 minutes more. Serve by plating fish, then topping with fennel and olive mixture, and lemon juice. (The swordfish also may be grilled, with the fennel and olive mixture prepared in a skillet.)

AND THE WINES:

I Lauri Pinot Grigio
REALLY, REALLY REFRESHING. Intense bouquet of white fruits including ripe golden apples and pears. On the palate, refreshing ripe apple and peach notes end with gentle acidity. A round, lightly floral wine with a fullness and spice that brings lots of appeal.

Canteperdrix Ventoux Rouge
ROCKING RHONE RED. A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan. Fruit leather, black pepper, and a bright finish. Expressive.

Subida Monastrell
FANCY-LOOKING LABEL; NOT TOO FANCY OF A PRICE TAG. Aromas of blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, undertones of dusty earth and fresh herbs. A big, juicy, delicious red.

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