Summer means two things in our house-seafood and berries. Ok, maybe three things-seafood, berries and beer (we live in Portland after all). I had something else in mind for this weeks post, but Adam had swordfish on his mind and I thought why not bring the two together? Hence, this weeks dish – Swordfish with Blackberry Mint Chutney.
I know there are many reasons you might be wary about eating swordfish. I won’t list them here, but I will tell you why you want to eat this particular swordfish. We purchased our swordfish from Whole Foods Market who are huge supporters of MSC certified fish. MSC is the Marine Stewardship Council who, through strict standards and a rigorous certification programs create responsible and sustainable fishing. If that doesn’t do it for you then maybe this will-these swordfish are harpoon caught. How cool is that? These cats go out on the Nova Scotia waters with hand thrown harpoons (seriously, click on that link). They specifically target mature swordfish-one by one. Using harpoons means no nets. No nets mean no trawling and catching various species of fish or damaging marine habitat. Supporting these folks means supporting, not only a way of life, but a sustainable way to fish. Don’t we do enough damage?
Ok, I’ll step off of my soapbox now.
Because of the way this swordfish is caught, it calls for a very short season. If you’re thinking about trying this recipe I suggest you hit your local Whole Foods soon.
The blackberries I picked up were amazingly sweet and tart. Some of the riper berries tasted just like blueberries to me. We have the little family run Liepold Farms in Boring, Oregon to thank for these wonderful blackberries.
The mint in this recipe comes from my very own garden….at the end of our kitchen table in our apartment, two flights up. Oh how I dream of having a garden again. Some day….
(New feature on my blog. If you click on the recipe title you will be taken to a printable google page)
Disclaimer: There are about a million chutney recipes out there and none that I came across really jived with me. So I pretty much made this up as I went along. I apologize for the vague directions.
Blackberry Mint Chutney
About a pint of fresh blackberries, halved
Half a shallot, minced
Three or four dried apricots, coarsely chopped
About a tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
Olive oil to coat your pan
About a tablespoon or two of raw honey
A pinch or two of fennel seeds
Zest of a smallish lemon
Juice of half a lemon
Couple of generous pinches of kosher salt
Few splashes of apple cider vinegar
About 1/4 cup or less of water
A couple of generous pinches of ground sumac berries (optional as it can be difficult to find)
One seeded and minced serrano pepper (you could use red pepper flakes too)
Smallish handful of gently torn fresh mint
Warm olive oil in a saucepan-nothing too large.
Sauté shallots, ginger, fennel, apricots, lemon zest and pepper. After a few minutes add honey, water and apple cider vinegar. After everything starts simmering again add berries, kosher salt, lemon juice and sumac.
Cover and let simmer for about an hour. Stirring often. If you notice the sauce reducing quickly, lower heat, or simmer for less time. You want it to be juicy without being watery.
After the hour, gently tear mint leaves and stir into chutney. Let sit on very low heat for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool
While the chutney is cooling warm olive oil in a skillet
Season swordfish with lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper
Place swordfish in skillet and sear for about 30 seconds on each side
Place seared swordfish on your favorite plate and spoon chutney over fish. Serve with fresh summer greens.
Leftover chutney can be stored in a tightly sealed glass jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks.