Grilled Swordfish with Avocado and Tomato Salsa

A recipe for six servings

I first tasted freshly-caught grilled seafood with salsas right on the beach in a small restaurant in Mexico. Wrapped in warm flour tortillas, they make an ideal lunch or dinner. But you can skip the tortilla and serve this dish with another staple such as rice or quinoa.

1 ½ pounds swordfish steaks, about 1 to 1 ½ inches thick, or a firm-fleshed fish fillet, such as cod, haddock, or mahi mahi, rinsed lightly and drained
For the marinade, mixed together:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons dry white vermouth or white wine
1 recipe tomato-avocado salsa, prepared as directed (See recipe below)

  1. Put the fish fillets in a bowl. Add the marinade and toss lightly to coat.
  2. Put the prepared Tomato Avocado Salsa into a serving bowl and cover tightly.
  3. Prepare a medium-hot fire for grilling or preheat a gas grill, and place the rack about 3 inches above the coals. Arrange the fish steaks on the grill and cook covered until the meat turns opaque, basting with the marinade, for about 7 to 8 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
  4. Carefully slide the fish off the grill onto plates and serve. Each diner puts some swordfish on a flour tortilla, spoons some of the salsa on top, rolls it up, and eats it with his or her fingers.

© 2008 Nina Simonds

Avocado Tomato Salsa

Makes about 5 to 6 cups

This salsa is delicious, easy, and versatile. I serve it with many grilled foods, including seafood, pork or chicken. It’s also excellent as a dip with tortilla chips. To preserve the salsa and prevent it from darkening, bury the pits in it, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator.

¾ pound ripe tomatoes, rinsed and drained, and stems removed
2 avocados, peeled, pit removed and cut into ¼-inch dice
juice of 1 lime, about 4 ½ tablespoons
1 jalapeno pepper, or to taste, cored, and seeded
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup minced scallion greens
2 tablespoons fruity extra- virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Remove the stems from the tomatoes, cut in half, and scoop out the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into ½- inch dice and put in a serving bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and carefully stir to mix evenly. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Use as directed in the recipe or serve with any type of grilled meat, seafood, or vegetable.

© 2008 Nina Simonds

Grilled Hot And Sour Zuccini

Six Servings

(master recipe for zucchini, eggplant, summer squash)

Although grilling vegetables may not be the traditional cooking method favored in China, I find that it complements the flavor and improves the texture of watery vegetable varieties especially zucchini, and summer squash.

5 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds), rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil

Hot and Sour Dressing, whisked together:
6 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 ½ tablespoons black Chinese vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon hot chili paste or to taste

  1. Trim the ends of the zucchini and discard. Cut the zucchini on the diagonal into ¼ -inch thick slices and put in a bowl. Pour in the olive oil and toss lightly with your hands to coat.
  2. Prepare a medium-hot fire for grilling and place the grill 3 to 4 inches from the heat. Arrange the zucchini slices on the grill (You may have to
    cook it in batches.) and grill about 5 minutes on each side. Remove and put the slices on a serving platter.
  3. Pour the Hot and Sour Dressing over the zucchini and serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2008

Sliced Tomatoes And Basil With Garlic Vinaigrette

Six Servings

The appearance of this dish in my house heralds the arrival of the best part of summer when tomatoes are at their peak. I love to make this salad with yellow and orange tomatoes which can be very sweet. We like to make tomato-basil sandwiches with toasted seven-grain bread for lunch or a light dinner.

Garlic Vinaigrette

4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
1 ¼ teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ cup Balsamic vinegar
1 ¾ cups good quality virgin olive oil
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 to 7 medium ripe vine-ripened tomatoes, about 1 ½ pounds (Yellow and orange tomatoes are wonderful, if available.)
12 to 15 leaves fresh basil leaves, stems removed*

1. To make the Garlic Vinaigrette, drop the garlic cloves down the feed tube of a food processor fitted with a steel blade while the machine is running. Mince finely. Open the lid and add the mustard and vinegar.
Pulse to blend, turning the machine on and off and slowly pour the olive oil down the feed tube in a thin stream with the machine running. The dressing should become thick and creamy. Add salt and pepper, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. This will keep refrigerated for months.

2. Cut out the stem of the each tomato and cut into ¼-inch slices. Arrange on a plate. Rinse the basil leaves and blot dry with paper towels. Tear into thin pieces with your hands and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Pour some of the vinaigrette on top and serve some remaining on the side. Serve at room temperature or cold.

*Alternate slices of fresh mozzarella with the tomato, if desired.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2008

Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.