Grilled Swordfish on Herbed Couscous with Vegetable Minestrone

by Hilary Gauntt on April 21, 2016

Jeanne Jones has been a nationally syndicated columnist for years, with her “Cook It Light” column and numerous cookbooks dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. Kind of ahead of her time, actually. This is a recipe she ordered at the ultra chic Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, famous for it’s many world famous celebrity guests. The executive chef at the time (1999 is the copyright of my cookbook) Bill Bracken, told her it was his own favorite dish, and was willing to share the recipe with her readers.

And it’s a recipe right up her alley; light, fresh, healthy, delicious and not at all difficult to make. I just stumbled on it recently as I was trying to reduce the number of cookbooks overflowing my kitchen shelves, and knew I had to try it. If you use a box of Near East couscous it’s even a few minutes quicker to the table. ( I love the olive oil and roasted garlic flavor, ready in 5 minutes).

If you make the Minestrone earlier, it is just a matter of minutes to cook the fish and pull it together. Just use the vegetables you have on hand, which in my case were asparagus, shallots, zucchini and red peppers. I was kind of amazed that a can of V-8 juice was in the mix, but the combination works perfectly. A restaurant worthy dish!

Minestrone

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

2 cups finely diced vegetables (such as yellow squash, zucchini, onions and red bell peppers)

1 can (11 1/2 ounces) V-8 juice

1/4 cup chicken stock

1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Couscous

1 1/2 cups defatted chicken stock

1 tsp. olive oil

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dry couscous

Swordfish

4 swordfish steaks (6 ounces each)

1/2 tsp. olive oil

Dash of salt

Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh basil, thyme, or rosemary (optional)

Thyme or rosemary sprigs for garnish (optional)

To make the minestrone: Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or just until the garlic starts to sizzle. Add the mixed vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, or just until tender. Add the juice, stock, basil, thyme rosemary and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes.

To make the couscous: Combine the stock, oil, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in couscous and bring to a boil again.Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Fluff with a fork. Cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

To make the swordfish: Wash the swordfish with cold water and pat dry. Rub with the oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the chopped basil, thyme, or rosemary (if using). Cook on a charcoal grill or under a broiler for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or just until the fish turns from translucent to opaque; do not overcook or the fish will become tough.

Divide the couscous among serving plates. Top with the swordfish. Spoon the minestrone around each serving. Garnish with the thyme or rosemary springs (if using) Serves 4.

swordfish

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