Grilled Swordfish with Lemon and Capers: A Mediterranean Delight

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Grilled swordfish with lemon and capers is a classic Mediterranean dish that celebrates the robust flavors of fresh seafood complemented by tangy citrus and savory capers. This recipe highlights the versatility of swordfish, a firm and meaty fish that holds up well on the grill, allowing its natural flavors to shine through. Whether you’re planning a summer barbecue or a special dinner, grilled swordfish with lemon and capers is sure to impress with its simplicity and deliciousness. Let’s explore the origins of this dish, its culinary appeal, and how to prepare it step by step.

Introduction to Grilled Swordfish with Lemon and Capers

Grilled swordfish with lemon and capers is a dish that embodies the essence of Mediterranean cuisine—fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and simple preparation methods that let the quality of the seafood speak for itself. Swordfish is a popular choice for grilling due to its dense texture and mild flavor, which pairs beautifully with the bright acidity of lemon and the briny pop of capers. This dish is perfect for seafood enthusiasts looking to enjoy a healthy and flavorful meal that transports them to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean.


For Grilling:

  • 4 swordfish steaks, about 6 ounces each, 1 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, for brushing

For Lemon and Caper Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


1. Prepare the Swordfish:

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Clean and oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
  • Pat dry the swordfish steaks with paper towels. Season both sides generously with salt and black pepper.

2. Grill the Swordfish:

  • Brush the swordfish steaks lightly with olive oil on both sides to prevent sticking.
  • Place the swordfish steaks on the preheated grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the steaks.
  • Once cooked, transfer the swordfish steaks to a serving platter or individual plates. Tent loosely with foil and let rest for a few minutes.

3. Make the Lemon and Caper Sauce:

  • In a small saucepan or skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium-low heat.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant but not browned.
  • Stir in the fresh lemon juice, capers, and chopped parsley. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld together.

4. Serve:

  • Spoon the lemon and caper sauce over the grilled swordfish steaks.
  • Garnish with additional chopped parsley and serve immediately, accompanied by lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the fish.

Tips for Success

  • Choosing Swordfish: Look for swordfish steaks that are fresh, firm, and about 1 inch thick for even cooking on the grill.
  • Grilling Technique: To achieve perfect grill marks and prevent sticking, ensure the grill is well-oiled and preheated to medium-high heat before cooking the swordfish.
  • Sauce Consistency: Adjust the amount of olive oil in the sauce to your liking for a lighter or richer texture.
  • Garnish Options: Serve grilled swordfish with a side of seasonal vegetables or a light salad to complement the flavors of the dish.


Grilled swordfish with lemon and capers is a testament to the Mediterranean culinary tradition of showcasing fresh seafood with minimal fuss and maximum flavor. This dish offers a harmonious blend of textures and tastes—tender swordfish, tangy lemon, briny capers, and aromatic herbs—that come together to create a memorable dining experience. Whether enjoyed as a main course at a summer barbecue or a special dinner, grilled swordfish with lemon and capers is sure to delight seafood lovers and showcase the versatility of this beloved Mediterranean fish. Embrace the flavors of the sea and savor the simplicity of grilled swordfish with lemon and capers for your next culinary adventure.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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