Last night, my family enjoyed some exceptionally delicious swordfish, selected, then cooked on the grill by my husband. This was the second time our kids have tried swordfish. At the fish store they told their dad not to get too big a piece as it is “very rich.” We’ve been splurging on good fish about three times a month. The kids seem to be more open to eating it when they’ve had the fun of the trip to the fish store. Good, fresh fish tastes great when cooked simply and costs no more than a take-out dinner.
I was happy to serve such a delicious piece of fish with the most basic sides—just steamed broccoli and seeded semolina bread with butter. The fish itself was simply rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of my favorite Maldon Sea Salt.
I was feeling ambivalent about this lovely meal though. I thought I remembered that all swordfish is a big no-no in terms of fishery sustainability. It’s been a while since I checked the list compiled by the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA). I was glad to see that U.S.-caught swordfish is OK in limited amounts (because of possible mercury contamination). Caveat: I, personally, probably would not give it to very small children.
The MBA website is better than ever. You can print a guide to responsible fish choices by (U.S.) region and a chart of alternatives that helps you find substitutes for your favorite seafood on their avoid list. The site’s information about species affected by contaminants is provided by the Environmental Defense Fund.
The MBA even has a collection of recipes provided by the likes of Mario Batali and Rick Bayless that use sustainable fish, helpful if you need to adjust your palate away from species of concern.