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Swordfish Cooked in Fig Leaves, with Figs and Tarragon-Fig Salsa

Yield: 4 servings

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 large fig leaves
  • 4 portions swordfish, skin removed
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 10 ripe figs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp. chopped scallion greens
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper

Wash and stem the fig leaves. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add one tablespoon of oil to the water. Blanch the fig leaves for about 3 minutes, until pliable. Lift out, transfer to a bowl of icy cold water, and when they’re cool, drain and pat dry.

Arrange the leaves on a pan with the shiny face down. In a bowl, combine the fish with another tablespoon oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place each piece of fish centrally on a leaf, and fold the edges around it. Turn over and let sit until ready to cook, at room temperature (for up to an hour, but not longer). Halve 8 figs and lightly brush with oil as well.

Meanwhile, make the salsa: chop together the remaining two figs and all the herbs; add the oil, balsamic, and a pinch of cayenne pepper and then season with salt & pepper. Let stand until needed.

Heat a grill (ideal, but we don’t have one) or ridged griddle to smoking hot. Grill the fish packets and halved figs about 4 minutes per side, or until just done (how to check: slide a paring knife into the fish, let sit 5 seconds. Pull it out and feel the blade where the thick part of the fish was—it should be warm ).

Unwrap the fish before serving, with two grilled fig halves and spoonfuls of the sauce.