Serious Eats: Recipes

French in a Flash: Swordfish Paillard with Citrus Salad

[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

Growing up in Florida, winter always meant one thing to me: citrus. We had a Lilliputian orchard on our small plot of land that produced Key limes, Persian limes, oranges, lemons the size of softballs, and ruby red grapefruits. We couldn't get to the fruit fast enough. We gave away sacks upon sacks of tart yellow, orange, and green gems, running around under the trees like squirrels anxious to get ahold of their nuts before anything sinister might befall them. And that is why to this day I recoil at the idea of paying 69 cents for a stingy lemon in a New York grocery store. Ridiculous.

I'm in Florida this week, and the choices of citrus overwhelmed me—I'm like a greedy little kid in a Sour-Patch candy store. This dish was inspired by the bistro classic chicken paillard: thinly pounded fillet of meat, quickly seared on a hot grill, and served with salad. It's one of those French dishes that is so simple, but made special by just the smallest amount of attention paid to preparation. When I'm in Florida, I eat nothing but fish, so I made this with thawed frozen swordfish fillets. You could substitute any meaty steak fish. Pound the fish thin, and grill it in seconds on a panini press. Top it with a salad of rough-and-tumble spinach and arugula, with pink Florida grapefruits and blood oranges, sweet fennel, and salty onyx oil-cured olives. Light and lovely, it's the perfect lunch in the sunshine—or for dreaming about it.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the The Secret Ingredient series for Serious Eats.

Printed from

© Serious Eats