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Grilled Swordfish with Tapenade

Swordfish with lemon
May 12, 2020
Swordfish with lemon
Grilled Swordfish with Tapenade

This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at 

Heinen’s Wild Caught Swordfish Steaks come to the dinner rescue with this super simple springtime meal. Swordfish is a firm and meaty fish, perfect for grilling up fast with a slather of salty olive tapenade on top. Slice some fennel and grape tomatoes to grill alongside and you have a complete meal good enough for company.

Heinen's Wild Caught Swordfish Steaks

It’s that easy: A grill basket is a must-have for summer grilling. You can toss any kind of vegetable in the basket and not have to worry about it all falling through the grates. I heat mine up before adding the food to it as it cooks faster that way. If you don’t have one, buy one (or order online) today. You’ll use it a lot!

Grilled Swordfish with Tapenade

Start-to-Finish: 10 minutes
Hands-on Time: 10 minutes
Serves 4


  • 4 6 oz. Heinen’s Wild Caught Swordfish Steaks, thawed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for brushing the filets and grill rack
  • 1/4 cup jarred store-bought tapenade or olivada (recipe below)
  • Finely minced chives and lemon wedges for garnish


  1. Prepare a grill to high heat.
  2. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and season lightly with the salt and pepper. Drizzle the fish with a little oil and brush some on the grill racks so the fish doesn’t stick.
  3. Lay the fish on the hot grill racks and allow to cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Turn gently with a thin spatula so that the fish doesn’t tear and grill the other side for another 2 or 3 minutes or until the filets feel firm when pressed. Remember, it takes about 7 minutes to cook a 1-inch thick piece of fish and these filets are closer to 1/2-inch.
  4. Transfer the fish to heated serving plates and the spread tapenade over the top. Garnish with fresh chives and lemon wedges.

Extra Hungry: Toss sliced fennel and grape tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill them in a grill basket alongside the fish. Start the veggies about 5 minutes before you put the fish on the grill and they will be done at about the same time.

In the Glass: Look for a crisp Pinot Grigio from the Alto Adige in Italy. Crisp and lean with a touch of fruit, Santa Margarita is one of my favorites.

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Tapenade.


Olivada, the Italian version of the French tapenade, is an olive spread with garlic, capers lemon zest, thyme and parsley all pulsed together in a food processor with a generous splash of olive oil. It’s a powerhouse of flavor and the perfect topping for mild, firm-fleshed swordfish.

Start-to-Finish: 10 minutes
Hands-on Time: 10 minutes
Makes a generous cup


  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. jarred capers, rinsed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Place the olives, garlic, zest, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, black pepper and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until ingredients are combined, but still chunky. The olivada is also a great topping for bruschetta or toasted bread, chicken, beef and pork or spread over thinly sliced Granny Smith apples as an appetizer.

Make-ahead: The olivada keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, covered, but you will eat it all up long before then.

Grilled Swordfish with Tapendade

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Olivada.

By Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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