Baked Swordfish Livornese is a white-meaty fish that turns out exquisitely flavorful when topped and baked with a simple onion-tomato-olive sauce. The secret to its aromatic taste is in our 6-ingredient sauce which gives this swordfish its moist texture and a ton of flavor! If you love swordfish, then this recipe is for you!
What is Swordfish Livornese?
The title “Livornese” is a term or a name for a typical sauce, and it is really a method for cooking fish, which originated in Livorno, Tuscany, a port city on the Ligurian Sea, Italy. They are known for their seafood dishes.
For this Livornese-style recipe, I decided to bake the swordfish, rather than cooking the fish in a skillet, like our mom’s recipe for Cod Livornese. Her recipe for cod is cooked on the stovetop and it’s totally delicious! So be sure to try it soon.
But, everyone who tries this recipe… will fall in love with swordfish – guaranteed!
This Baked Swordfish Livornese will go perfectly served with any of these sides: like our easy sauteed broccolini, easy asparagus gratin, or with sauteed spinach with tomatoes, for an easy and delicious dinner.
Ingredients Needed for Baked Swordfish Livornese:
For our baked swordfish livornese recipe, you will need:
1 + 1/2 pounds fresh Swordfish steak
1 lemon – cut in half
4 Tbsp. olive oil – divided
12 fresh basil leaves
1/2 of a large onion – minced
3 garlic cloves – minced
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
16-ounces cherry tomatoes – sliced in halves
3/4 tsp. sea salt – divided
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives – sliced in halves
When you bake swordfish with our Livornese sauce on top, it turns out flavorful. In fact, you’ll be pleasantly surprised after you take your first bite!
Its white meat will be firm but tender to the touch, and flakes off with a fork.
This is a great seafood dish for the whole family, including the kids, since swordfish doesn’t contain any bones.
Baking swordfish this way is relatively easy, and it turns out juicy and delicious tasting every time.
Our Baked Swordfish Livornese is a three-step process:
1. The first step is to saute lots of fresh basil with onions, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and olives for 10 minutes.
2. The second step is baking the swordfish “without the sauce” for 10 to 12 minutes.
3. The last step is to spoon the sauce on top and then finish baking the fish for additional 15 minutes.
QUICK NOTE: I decided to cut the swordfish into 4 pieces before baking. So I can easily serve each portion with all the topping on it and avoid making a mess when serving.
How to eliminate any order or fishy taste from the swordfish?
First, you will need to marinate the swordfish with fresh lemon juice and on both sides.
Take one half of a lemon and squeeze it onto a large plate.
Grab the swordfish steak and lay it directly on top of the lemon juice on the plate.
Next, squeeze the other half of lemon over the swordfish and set it aside. This will not only marinate it, but it will remove any “fishy” order while baking. And it works every time!
What to look for when buying Swordfish…
When looking to buy swordfish for this recipe, we recommend asking the fishmonger for:
a thick, center-cut of swordfish steak, and it should be at least 1 + 1/4-inch or more.
it should have bright color to the flesh, anywhere from white to ivory to pinkish.
and it should have a tight swirl in their flesh and be firm to the touch.
finally, it should smell fresh, like the sea, and not fishy.
Swordfish steaks are firm, white-meaty fishes and have a mildly sweet taste. They work perfectly for a Livornese-style recipe.
If you love swordfish, then you’ll love our other recipe for Easy Baked Swordfish. It is baked with a delicious lemon and wine sauce, and it too is amazingly easy!
This recipe for Livornese is adaptable to cod, tilapia, snapper, and even Dover sole. Fresh swordfish is not cheap, but it’s worth the price.
Give it a try!
More Delicious Seafood Recipes…
…for additional Livornese-style recipes, try these:
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
- 1 ex-large piece (1 + 1/2 pounds) of Swordfish steak
- 1 lemon - cut in half
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil - divided
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 of a large onion - minced
- 3 garlic cloves - minced
- 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 16-ounces cherry tomatoes - sliced in halves
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt - divided
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives - sliced in halves
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190C). Grab a large baking dish, about 9 x 12-inch (or 2.5 to 3 qt). Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom. Set it nearby.
To PREPARE THE SWORDFISH:
- First, take one half of a lemon and squeeze it onto a large plate. Grab the swordfish steak and lay it directly on top of the lemon juice on the plate. Next, squeeze the other half of lemon over the swordfish and set it aside. This will not only marinate it, but it will remove any "fishy" order while baking.
TO MAKE THE LIVORNESE SAUCE:
- In a 10-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on moderate heat.
- Toss in fresh basil and allow the basil to saute for one minute.
- Next, toss in the minced onion, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened.
- Then toss in the cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives and season with some salt. Cover with a lid and lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes softened, stirring occasionally. When tomatoes are softened, turn off the heat. Taste the sauce, and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Keep covered.
TO BAKE THE SWORDFISH:
- Season the swordfish steak with some salt and garlic powder and transfer the swordfish into the prepared baking dish. ( Here is where you can cut the swordfish into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on how many servings you need).
- BAKE on the center rack, only for 12 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and place the baking dish on your stovetop, next to the skillet with the sauce. Uncover the skillet, and spoon the entire tomato mixture over the swordfish. Drizzle an additional tablespoon of olive oil over the sauce.
- Then transfer the baking dish back into the oven and CONTINUE to BAKE the swordfish for additional 15 minutes. ( Total baking time: 27 to 30 minutes). Swordfish is fully cooked with it flakes off with a fork.
- Remove from oven and serve.
- yields: 4 to 5 servings
Yield:4 to 5 servings
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 18.5gSaturated Fat: 3.5gCholesterol: 68mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 2.9gProtein: 35.7g
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Happy and Healthy Baking! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
xo Anna and Liz