Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Grilled Swordfish with Leek, Shiitake & Fava Succotash

There's no other fish quite like swordfish. When marinating this succulent fish, my mantra is usually 'less is more' — a little lemon juice and olive oil, and that's it. However, this intense marinade of soy sauce, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and cumin melt into these meaty kebabs, yielding richly flavoured moist morsels of succulent fish — a robust departure from my normal comfort zone. Served with a lively succotash of sautéed leeks, plump shiitake mushrooms and bright green fava beans with a hint of fresh thyme and chopped mint, makes this dish a delicious and comforting summertime meal.

Fresh flowering chives in my garden supply of instant garnishes

Mint grows like weeds and is perfect in any summertime recipes

Using the freshest possible produce makes any dish look and taste better. One of the pleasures of a summer garden is having fresh fragrant herbs at your fingertip, to add to recipes and or garnish platters of cooked fish or seafood salads. Having been up in Muskoka over the past weekend, I was able to take advantage of the organic produce at Brooklands Farm, like these fresh plump shiitake mushrooms. A beacon for many local chefs and local cooks in the Muskoka region, Ken and Katya's farm has been in the Riley Family since 1876, and uses sustainable farming methods, relying on improving soil health rather than chemicals. Their produce, like them, are beyond compare, and made this Leek, Shiitake & Fava Succotash especially delicious.

Fresh organic shiitakes from Brooklands Farm shiitake grove in Muskoka

Diced red onion and sliced leeks are sautéed in some olive oil

The shiitakes are added with a little chopped chives and parsley

The succotash is cooked until the leeks and mushrooms are lovely and soft

The blanched favas are sautéed in a tablespoon of olive oil until they get a bit crispy

Grilled Swordfish Kebabs with Leek, Shiitake & Fava Succotash
Serves 2

Soy & Dijon Marinade:
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 lb swordfish, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks for kebabs
1 red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bamboo skewers, pre-soaked
Fresh chives and mint for garnish

Leek, Shiitake & Fava Succotash:
1 leek
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 cups fava beans, cooked and peeled
1 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

3 tbsp olive oil
, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper

Combine the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, mustard, cumin, pepper and salt in a large bowl, and whisk together to make the marinade. Add the pieces of swordfish and toss gently to coat. Cover, or transfer to a resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.

Trim the leek by removing the root and tough green ends. Cut in half lengthwise then slice into 1/8-inch pieces and soak in cold water for 5-10 minutes, to rinse off any dirt. Drain the leeks using a small sieve and set side.

Preheat and outdoor grill or oven broiler. Make the swordfish kebabs by threading each piece of fish and red onion alternately onto each skewer and baste the kebabs with the remaining marinade. Grill, rotating the kebabs, until the fish is nicely browned and just cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, and sauté the leeks until they begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add the shiitakes and fresh thyme and sauté until tender, about 3 more minutes. In another small saucepan, sauté the cooked fava beans and fresh mint in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes, so that they become slightly caramelized and crispy, then add to the leek and mushroom mixture.

To serve, spoon the leek, mushroom and fava succotash onto 2 warmed plates and arrange a fish kebab on top. Garnish with some green chives, a sprig of fresh mint and a chive blossom.