Grilled Swordfish and Citrus Kale Salad

Grilled Swordfish and Citrus Kale Salad

Lately, I’ve cut way down on my salt and sugar intake, just for bein’ healthy, thankfully, and not for anything more medically urgent. Since this decision, I have gained empirical evidence that salt is the palate’s crack, and when you take it away, the palate, a junkie, will seek the next best thing out there to satiate it. So, some bold flavors have come to the front of the pantry. Grapefruit Zest. Lemon Juice. Black Pepper. Radish. Swordfish. Cumin. Kale. This is a mighty salad, and the grapefruit zest and black pepper totally sells it.

A few tips on technique, here. Lemon juice is my closest substitute to salt. The obvious upside is less salt usage. The downside to sharpening a dish’s flavor with lemon is that it brings its own flavor to the party, meaning there are fewer applications for it than salt. But, if the flavor of your dish will tolerate lemon, you can almost completely omit salt.

Also, no one I have ever known has a cup and a half of kale and two lone radishes sitting around. I come up with these amounts by keeping a salad spinner full of a bunch of already-prepped vegetables in the fridge, which helps me take what I want and plan dinners across the week. I shop and prep on Sundays, and use up the last of the sturdier greens by Wednesday or Thursday. Rinse and repeat.

On swordfish: I call swordfish the steak of the sea, and I cook it almost exactly the same. Four minutes per side, per inch of thickness, but on medium, just enough for a seared edge. Then, I tent it for an additional two minutes with foil still on the heat, for a total of about ten minutes of cook time. Don’t be scared. In general, use less-than-medium-high heat if you’re scared.

Finally, I’m loving these potent flavor combinations coming together in a salad bowl, so enjoy! If you’re into fish as an ingredient to salads, you can also try this Smoked Trout, Wild Berry and Mizuna Salad.

Grilled Swordfish And Citrus Kale Salad

Serves: One. Do math for more mouths.

Time: Start to finish, about 30 minutes

Tools: cast iron grill pan, aluminum foil



  • 6oz. fresh Swordfish steak, about an inch thick
  • Red Kale, sliced into ribbons, about a cup and a half
  • 1/2 cup Green beans, trimmed and steamed to bright green and firm
  • Two large radishes, sliced thinly
  • salt and pepper


  • Juice of one lemon, about 2 Tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • dash of Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. grapefruit zest
  • a few turns of pepper
  • 3 Tbsp of the best, freshest olive oil you have


Combine all the dressing ingredients except oil in a bowl. Slowly whisk in oil to emulsify and place in fridge.

Wash, rinse and slice the kale and set aside. Trim the ends off the green beans and steam over a water bath or in the microwave until bright green and firm, about three minutes if over steam. When done, run cold water over them until they’re lukewarm and set aside. Slice radishes and place all in a large serving bowl.

Rinse and pat dry the swordfish. Lightly salt (a pinch per side) and heavily pepper the steak and preheat and oil a small, heavy cast iron grill pan to medium; about “three” on the knob. Cook for about four minutes per side, per inch of thickness, Cover loosely with a piece of foil for an additional two minutes, for a total of about ten minutes of cook time, or until the fish when pierced is solid white throughout. Pull it off, let it rest for a couple of minutes and slice into 1/4″ pieces.  Place on top of the ingredients in the serving bowl. Pull the dressing from the fridge, re-whisk, and dress your salad, tossing lightly. Top with a little additional grapefruit zest and black pepper. Enjoy.