By DIANE ROSSEN WORTHINGTON

Tribune Content Agency

Grilled Swordfish with Island Salsa

Serves 6

For the marinade:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons finely chopped lime zest

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 to 5 limes)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 (6- to 8-ounce) swordfish steaks, cut 1/4 inch thick, skinned, and pounded 1/8 inch thick

1 cup Island Salsa (see below)

1. In a small bowl, stir together the marinade ingredients; taste for seasoning.

2. Arrange swordfish in a shallow nonaluminum baking dish or jelly roll pan and pour the marinade over the steaks. Turn to coat both sides evenly, cover, refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

3. Prepare a barbecue for medium-high heat grilling, or heat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove swordfish from marinade and grill about 3 inches from flame for 1 1/2 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.

4. Transfer to a serving platter.

5. To serve, top each swordfish with about 1/4 cup of salsa and serve immediately.

Advance Preparation: This dish can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead through Step 2.

Island Salsa

Makes 2 cups

1 cup diced fresh pineapple

1 mango, peeled and diced

1/2 cup jicama, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl, combine all salsa ingredients and taste for seasoning.

2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

3. Use any remaining salsa over chicken, guacamole tacos or quesadillas.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.

Each year on Father’s Day I want to surprise my husband with something unexpected that I know he will enjoy. This year it’s grilled swordfish. The mild flavor and firm, meat-like texture of swordfish make it an ideal fish for grilling.

The trick with this dish is to have the fishmonger slice the swordfish into 1/4-inch thick slices. Then, it’s best to pound the fish to an even 1/8 inch of thickness (which makes it very tender) and then marinate it for up to 2 hours; any longer than that, and you will begin to change the texture of the fish and begin to “cook” it. To pound the fish place each fish piece between two sheets of plastic wrap and then use a heavy cleaver and flat-bottomed pan to pound it to desired thickness.

Grilling these fish steaks calls for a high heat and a very quick time on the grill. I grill them for 1 1/2 minutes on the first side and repeat on the other side.

A fish spatula is helpful in turning the fish pieces because they are very thin. You want to make sure the fish is just cooked through and not overcooked. If you prefer thicker steaks, have them cut into 1 1/2-inch slices and grill about 4 minutes on a side, or until just cooked through.

Cooling tropical fruits pair up with cilantro, garlic and red pepper flakes to make a sweet and spicy salsa. The fresh fruit and crunchy jicama create a colorful combination that will liven up grilled fish, black beans or quesadillas.

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