Saturday, July 12, 2014

That's a Wrap: Grilled Swordfish with Peach and Cucumber Salsa Salad Recipe

Grilled Swordfish, Cucumber and Peach Salsa Salad Wrap (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)
There's nothing like a mix of summer fruits and vegetables -- cucumbers and peaches are great right now --  chopped to make a "salsa salad" recipe that accompanies locally caught, grilled swordfish. And, in a lightly grilled tortilla wrap.

Salsa Salads dress up fish or shellfish, chicken, pork or tofu, and are incredibly versatile. Easy to make, salsa salads use the same flavor principles as tomato or fruit salsas but with larger chunks, and less juice.

Two of my favorite salsa salad ingredients are cucumbers, for the cool crunch, and juicy peaches. This cucumber peach salsa salad recipe adds a lot of color and zip to an otherwise boring meal of white swordfish and white tortillas -- great for the family but special enough to serve to guests.

Some years ago, when I was at Rancho La Puerta in Mexico, I learned the "master recipe" for salsa from the chef. Ever since then, I've been mixing and matching ingredients from each of the salsa categories -- being sure to have flavors that are sweet, savory, hot, pungent, acidic, herbaceous, salty --  to create flavorful and healthy meals. 

  • Cool/sweet: tomatoes, peaches, mangos, pineapple, melons, oranges or grapefruits, avocados
  • Color/crunch: green peppers, jicama, cucumber, corn, red onion
  • Heat: jalapeƱo, red onion, any chile peppers available at the market (be careful it's not too hot)
  • Herb: cilantro, parsley, mint, basil, even oregano and thyme
  • Acid: red or white wine vinegar, balsamic, lemon, lime
  • Pungent (optional): chopped garlic, minced ginger
  • Add a pinch of salt or sugar, as needed, tasting as you go, to achieve a balance of flavors.
So, now that cucumbers are available at the market (and tomatoes) go ahead and mix together tomatoes/cucumber/oregano/balsamic/garlic/salt for an Italian inspired salsa or go to the Caribbean market and pick up a mango for a mango/cucumber/red onion/mint/ginger more of a Southeast Asian and exotic salsa salad.

I decided to stick with what's at the farmers market for a peach/cucumber/red onion/jalapeno/cilantro salad over fresh caught, grilled Long Island swordfish. 

Grilled Swordfish with Cucumber and Peach Salsa Salad in Tortilla Wraps

4 medium swordfish steaks
Olive oil
8 – 8” white wheat flour tortillas, lightly grilled 
8 handfuls of Mesculen greens, washed and dried
1 1/2 cups cucumber 
1 cup ripe peaches
½ cup of red onion 
1 jalapeno pepper 
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
Juice of one lemon

Brush swordfish steaks with olive oil. Over a medium heat, grill swordfish steaks until just cooked through. Break into bite sized pieces and set a side to cool. Refrigerate if necessary, but bring to room temperature when you're ready to serve. 

For the salsa salad, which can also be made ahead, cut cucumber and peaches into roughly equal chunks, and combine with diced onion, minced jalapeno and cilantro in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice.

When you're ready to eat, grill the flour tortillas over a medium fire until grill marks show (don’t over cook or the tortillas will harden and be too crisp and likely break when you try to wrap the ingredients).

To Assemble: Set out the 8 tortillas. Divide the greens, swordfish and salsa into 8 equal parts depending. Down the middle of the grilled tortilla, leaving room on both sides to wrap around the fish and salad, place a handful of greens, pieces of swordfish and, using a slotted spoon add the salsa salad (since the pieces and lemon are very juicy use the slotted spoon so your wrap is not too soggy). Wrap and eat. 

 Serves 4-8 for lunch or dinner.

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