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Ina Garten’s Ode to Marcella Hazan: Sicillian Grilled Swordfish and Ina’s recipe for Confetti Corn

Ina Garten’s Ode to Marcella Hazan: Sicillian Grilled Swordfish and Ina’s recipe for Confetti Corn
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Victor and Marcella Hazan

There is a sad anniversary this week.  It’s been a year since the world lost Marcella Hazan, that wonderfully giving Italian food prophet with whom I struck up a friendship over the internet.  Fortunately, when you are as good as Marcella, your presence in the kitchen will not go with you.  And fortunately too, Marcella’s partner in life and in the kitchen, Victor Hazan, has kept Marcella’s memory most alive for fans and friends on her Facebook page.

By complete coincidence, when I was poking around for a recipe for swordfish, what should appear before me but Ina Garten’s Sicillian Grilled Swordfish recipe which Ina said was inspired by Marcella. I found it in Ina’s “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof” (Clarkson Potter 2012).  This recipe certainly keeps up with the title of the book. It’s one of the easiest things I have cooked all summer.   It might take all of 15 minutes to put together.  And it delivers such fresh and full flavor that I wanted to share it with you.  And since we may be heading into the end of corn season, I wanted to also share an Ina recipe for Confetti Corn.  It’s appeared here before. But it is perfect with this dish.        


Swordfish is found in the local waters surrounding on Long Island as you can see from this illustration of this magnificent fish.  In fact, judging from its price this summer, it’s abundant in these waters.  Its meaty white flesh makes it a kind of seafood steak.  Unlike tuna, which seems to thrive on being merely seared, to me swordfish tastes best when it is cooked through–to a uniform whiteness from center to sides.  I generally like to cook swordfish that is about 1 inch thick.   Ina’s Marcella-inspired rendition calls for swordfish that’s a 1/2 inch thick but I used slightly thicker fish and just cooked it a little longer.  If you use a grill pan, you can actually see if the fish is cooked through by monitoring the sides.  Ina’s recipe  uses a sauce that closely resembles a salad dressing.  The fish is cooked, then pricked with the tines of a fork. The sauce is then poured over and the fish is allowed to rest for 5 minutes.  Peppery baby arugula then tops the fish and the sauce does double duty as dressing for the arugula.  The sweetness of the corn, onions and red peppers in Ina’s Confetti corn struck me as a great side dish to serve with the fish’s lemon-y tartness.  This would make a perfect weeknight dinner but don’t let that stop you from making this weekend.  Especially since that corn at the farm stand isn’t going to be there much longer.  Here are the recipes.

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