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Sicillian Swordfish Steaks With Basil Orange Pesto

Swordfish steaks are a firm, flavorful meat. Pump it with Alder smoke for a steamy kick, then top it with citrus infused pesto. This high protein dinner is great after a work-out, it's so zesty it may blow your beard back.

  • Difficulty3/5
  • Prep time20 mins
  • Cook time15 mins
  • Serves4
  • Recommended HardwoodAlder


Swordfish Steaks4, each about 6-oz. and 1-inch thick
Olive Oilas needed
Coarse Salt (kosher or sea)as needed
Coarse Black Pepper, freshly groundas needed
Orange wedges, peel onfor serving
Basil sprigsfor serving
Fresh Basil leaves2 cups (1 large bunch)
Italian flat-leaf Parsley or baby Spinach leaves1 cup
Walnuts or Pine Nuts, toasted1/2 cup
Orange, juiced1
Orange Zest2 tsp.
High-quality Olive Oil1/2 cup
Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano cheese, grated1 cup
Coarse Salt (kosher or sea)1/2 tsp. , or more to taste
Black Pepper, freshly ground1/2 tsp., or more to taste


When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 400F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

In the meantime, make the pesto: In a blender jar or food processor, combine the basil, parsley, walnuts, orange juice, and orange zest and blend until finely chopped. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a stream until the mixture is emulsified.

If it seems too thick, loosen it up by adding a small bit of water - a tablespoon or so. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Rinse the swordfish steaks under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper.

Arrange the swordfish steaks on the grill grate. Grill for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once with a thin-bladed metal spatula, until the swordfish is opaque and breaks into chunks when pressed with a fork.

If desired, stick the probe of an instant-read meat thermometer through the side of the fish toward the center: You want a temperature of about 140 to 145F.

Transfer the steaks to a platter. Drizzle with the prepared pesto and garnish with orange wedges and fresh basil, if desired.

  • Difficulty3/5
  • Prep time20 mins
  • Cook time15 mins
  • Serves4
  • Recommended HardwoodAlder

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