Grilled Swordfish with Fennel-Garlic Rub

In the very first episode of From the Source, Chef Katie Button visits Abundant Seafood to learn about what it takes to get sustainable seafood from the ocean to restaurant tables. This recipe for grilled swordfish with fennel-garlic rub comes from that episode, and is the perfect way to up your grilling game. Succulent swordfish steaks (any bluefish steak will do!) are generously coated in a fragrant blend of fennel fronds, garlic, and spices, infusing them with a delightful aroma.


Fresh seafood prepared by Katie Button is on display, as seen on From the Source, Season 1


Grilled Swordfish with Garlic-Fennel Rub

From the Source, Season 1, Seafood
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 servings


  • mortar and pestle
  • grill



  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1.4 cup salt
  • 5 cups warm water


  • 1/2 cup fennel fronds finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves picked and finely chopped
  • zest of one lemon


  • 4 6 ounce swordfish fillets or other bluefish such as amberjack or mackerel
  • grapeseed oil for grill grates


  • For the brine: Whisk the sugar and salt into the warm water and stir until all the granules have dissolved. Let cool prior to using.
  • For the rub: Using a mortar and pestle, grind the fennel fronds, olive oil, pepper flakes, salt, garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest into a paste.
  • For the fish: Place the amberjack steaks and in enough brine to cover them completely and place in the refrigerator for 40 minutes. For best results, brine in a container where the whole portion is submerged, such as a deep baking dish, large bowl or plastic container.
  • Meanwhile, heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat, lightly the oiling grates.
  • Remove amberjack steaks from the brine and dab dry. Rub the garlic-fennel rub all over the steaks, coating them liberally. Grill the steaks for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill when the texture changes: the steaks will feel firm to the touch and if you pull at an edge with a fork, it should flake easily.