Pancetta-Crusted Swordfish

Pancetta-Crusted Swordfish
Staff Writer

Charlie Palmer

Often paired with relishes like ones made with olives or capers, it’s obvious that swordfish goes perfectly with salt, and Palmer is not shy about this. For his holiday swordfish, he sautés pancetta-wrapped swordfish and pairs it with fennel purée and a fennel, endive, and grapefruit salad for a salty-sweet flavor combination. 


For the fennel, endive, and grapefruit salad

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl to blend. If necessary, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Combine the shaved fennel, endive leaves, grapefruit segments, and parsley leaves in a bowl.  Add the lemon vinaigrette and toss to combine.

For the fennel purée

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Cut the fronds and fibrous stalks from the fennel bulb (discard or save for another use). Cut the bulbs in 1/2, lengthwise and remove the tough center root section.

Place the fennel, garlic, butter, and thyme in roasting pan and cover with hot chicken stock. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in the oven until soft. Remove from the oven and transfer the fennel mixture to a blender, discarding the thyme. Process the braised fennel to a smooth purée. Drizzle in just enough olive oil to emulsify.

For the swordfish

Lay 4 thin slices of pancetta on a cutting board, overlapping to extend the length of the swordfish fillet. Wrap the fillet with the pancetta and press firmly.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick or stainless steel pan until hot. Cook swordfish on both sides for 3 minutes, or until cooked to medium temperature. 

Re-heat the fennel purée in a saucepot until hot. Spoon a generous portion of the purée on individual serving plates and spread purée across plate with the black of spoon. Place pan seared pancetta crusted swordfish on top of fennel purée. Garnish the swordfish with the salad and a drizzle of the extra lemon vinaigrette. 


Calories per serving:

1,288 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber, Low Carb Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 104g 160%
  • Carbs 29g 10%
  • Saturated 28g 142%
  • Fiber 9g 34%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 15g
  • Monounsaturated 54g
  • Polyunsaturated 15g
  • Protein 61g 122%
  • Cholesterol 231mg 77%
  • Sodium 1,245mg 52%
  • Calcium 148mg 15%
  • Magnesium 125mg 31%
  • Potassium 2,196mg 63%
  • Iron 4mg 21%
  • Zinc 4mg 24%
  • Phosphorus 834mg 119%
  • Vitamin A 240µg 27%
  • Vitamin C 55mg 91%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 41%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 24%
  • Niacin (B3) 24mg 119%
  • Vitamin B6 2mg 83%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 93µg 23%
  • Vitamin B12 4µg 67%
  • Vitamin D 28µg 7%
  • Vitamin E 11mg 54%
  • Vitamin K 196µg 245%
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