Involtini di Pesce Spada
Cuisine: Sicilian
Author: Clifford A. Wright
Prep time: 35 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 47 mins
  • For the swordfish
  • One 2¾-pound piece swordfish, partially frozen and cut into twelve ¼-inch-thick slices
  • For the filling
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1¾ cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 salted anchovy fillets, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins or currants
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the coating
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated caciocavallo or pecorino cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the grill garnish
  • 30 bay leaves, soaked in tepid water for 30 minutes
  • 3 large onions, quartered and separated
  • Twelve 10-inch wooden skewers
  • Lemon wedges
  1. Flatten the swordfish slices further between 2 pieces of wax paper, pounding with the side of a mallet or heavy cleaver very gently so you don’t break through the flesh. Each slice should be about 5½ x 3½ inches.
  2. Prepare the filling. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat then cook, stirring, onion until translucent, about 7 minutes. In a bowl, combine the cooked onion with the bread crumbs, anchovies, garlic, pine nuts, raisins or currants, pecorino, lemon juice, orange juice, and egg. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Divide the filling among the swordfish slices and roll up, folding in the edges and squeezing the roll-ups in your hands. Secure any opening with toothpicks. Dip the roll-ups in olive oil.
  3. Prepare the coating. In a bowl, stir the beaten egg and the 2 tablespoons olive oil together and set aside. Combine the bread crumbs, caciocavallo or pecorino, oregano, parsley, garlic, and salt and pepper. Dredge the swordfish rolls in the egg mixture and then roll in the bread crumb mixture to coat lightly. Set aside.
  4. Prepare a hot charcoal fire to one side of the firebox or preheat a gas grill on high for 15 minutes.
  5. Double skewer all the ingredients: hold 2 skewers parallel to each other about ½ inch apart between your thumb and forefinger. Slide the roll-ups onto the skewers, interspersed with bay leaves and onion sections, putting 2 roll-ups on each set of skewers and drizzle with olive oil. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for about 6 minutes on each side. Serve with lemon wedges.
Recipe by Cook-Coquus at