Recipe: Swordfish Souvlaki with Lemon and Herb Pilaf

Swordfish Souvlaki with Lemon and Herb Pilaf - a delightful fusion of tastes that captures the essence of Greece. Join us in exploring the rich history of beloved Greek dish Souvlaki, and the health benefits of swordfish. This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Gourmet Traveller.


  • 20g butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
  • 17 small fresh bay leaves
  • 200g long-grain rice, rinsed in cold water
  • 400ml chicken or fish stock, warmed
  • 1 cup mint, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 kg swordfish, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano


  1. Soak eight wooden skewers in water. Combine swordfish in a non-reactive bowl with oregano, remaining oil, garlic and zest, season to taste and set aside to marinate (10 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, Heat butter and 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan or large casserole over medium-high heat. Add onion, two-thirds of garlic, half the zest and a bay leaf, then sauté until onion starts to soften (3-5 minutes). Add rice, stir to coat rice in oil, season to taste, then add warmed stock. Increase heat to high to bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and cook until rice is cooked through (15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, cover and stand for 5 minutes. Before serving, stir through lemon juice and fresh herbs.
  3. While the rice stands, Preheat your BBQ or char-grill pan over medium-high heat. Thread five swordfish pieces and two bay leaves onto each skewer, then char-grill skewers, turning occasionally, until just cooked through (4-5 minutes). Serve hot with pilaf and lemon wedges
Swordfish Souvlaki with Lemon and Herb Pilaf - Gourmet Traveller
Swordfish: A healthy, nutrient-rich fish
Swordfish is a nutrient-rich fish that provides an excellent source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, swordfish can promote heart health by reducing inflammation, improving cholesterol levels, and supporting overall cardiovascular function.
With its abundance of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorus, incorporating swordfish into your diet can contribute to optimal brain function, and as a low-calorie and low-fat fish, swordfish can be a valuable addition to a balanced diet, providing essential nutrients without excessive calories.
Swordfish Steaks with Zuchinni
Buying and Preparing Swordfish: What to look for
When choosing swordfish, look for steaks with a vibrant, pinkish hue and a fresh, oceanic scent. The flesh should be firm to the touch, indicating its peak freshness. Avoid any fish with a strong, ammonia-like smell, as it may be past its prime.
At Dawson’s we stock beautiful fresh Swordfish steaks from Coffs Harbour.
Once you bring your swordfish home, store it in the refrigerator and consume it within one to two days for the best flavour and texture.
Fresh Swordfish Steaks
Souvlaki: A Greek Staple
Souvlaki, a popular Greek dish that has gained international fame, has a rich history rooted in ancient traditions. The origins of souvlaki can be traced back to ancient Greece, where it was believed to have been introduced by the ancient Persians. The word "souvlaki" is derived from the Greek word "souvla," which means skewer.
In its early days, souvlaki was made using chunks of meat threaded onto skewers and cooked over an open flame. This simple and delicious street food quickly became a staple in Greek cuisine, cherished for its flavourful combination of tender meat, aromatic herbs, and zesty sauces.
Over the centuries, souvlaki has evolved and adapted, incorporating various meats such as pork, fish, chicken, or lamb, and served with an array of accompaniments like pita bread, fresh vegetables, and creamy tzatziki sauce.
Today, souvlaki continues to be a beloved dish both in Greece and worldwide, celebrated for its delectable taste and cultural significance as a symbol of Greek culinary heritage.
Greek feast of table including souvlaki, hummus, greek salad + more
Here at Dawson’s, we love Swordfish in this recipe due to its firm and meaty texture. Its mild and slightly sweet flavour pairs perfectly with the Mediterranean-inspired marinades and seasonings used in souvlaki, allowing the fish to absorb and enhance the rich aromas of herbs and spices.
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