To learn more about this recipe, read the related story, "Welcome to Flay-vortown," in Tasting Table's National edition.
Grilled Swordfish with Eggplant-and-Pepper Salad
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (preferably Chardonnay vinegar)
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons honey
2¼ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, plus 1 teaspoon whole leaves, divided
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise (if large, halved and quartered)
1 large poblano chile
1 medium red bell pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil, for grilling the vegetables
1 large bunch watercress, stems removed
1½ pound swordfish steak
2 tablespoons canola oil, for grilling the fish
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon whole thyme leaves
1. Make the dressing for the salad: In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, chopped thyme, ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is creamy and emulsified.
2. Grill the vegetables: Build a two-level fire on a charcoal grill--high heat on one side and medium heat on the other (if using gas grill, set one side to high heat and the other side to medium heat). Brush the eggplants, poblano and bell pepper with the 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Scatter the 1 teaspoon of whole thyme leaves over the vegetables, and season the vegetables with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper.
3. Grill the poblano and bell pepper over high heat until charred on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the poblano and the red pepper to a medium bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside until cool enough to peel, seed and finely chop. Meanwhile, grill the eggplants until charred on both sides and tender, about 5 minutes (if the eggplants get too dark too quickly, move them to the cooler side of the grill). Transfer the eggplants to a cutting board.
4. Grill the fish: Brush both sides of the swordfish with 1 tablespoon of the canola oil, then season with the 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and the 1 teaspoon of pepper. Sprinkle both sides with the 1 teaspoon of whole thyme leaves. Using tongs, dip a folded paper towel into the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil, then use it to grease the grill grates. Grill the swordfish over high heat until charred on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the swordfish to the cooler side of the grill and continue to grill until the fish is cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes longer for a 1½-inch-thick steak (if your piece of fish is thinner or thicker, adjust the grilling time accordingly).
5. While the swordfish grills, chop the eggplants into bite-size pieces and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the finely chopped poblano and bell pepper and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Add the watercress and pour about half of the dressing over the salad, gently tossing to coat. Taste and season with more salt or pepper as needed. Place the fish on a large platter. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the fish and serve with the eggplant-pepper salad.