Orzo with Grilled Swordfish and Kale Pesto combines for an easy and healthy meal, with plenty of flavor. We paired it with a soft Italian white wine to round out a delicious dinner.
Seafood and pesto can definitely work well together. My orzo with salmon and pesto recipe has been very popular here and on Pinterest, so I recently decided to create a new dish along the same lines. The result was this tasty and healthy Orzo with Grilled Swordfish and Kale Pesto recipe.
This recipe is pretty easy to put together in 30 minutes. Get the kale pesto made first, then a quick marinade for the swordfish. The fish grills quickly in 12 minutes or so as the orzo finishes cooking.
I plate the dish by starting with a bed of orzo with kale pesto, then place the swordfish on top of the orzo with some extra kale pesto. But I like eating it with the swordfish all broken up and tossed with the orzo to get the pesto flavors all over the fish.
Another benefit to this dish is that the orzo withe kale pesto can serve as a vegetarian main for anyone who wants to skip the swordfish. Adding the beans to the orzo gives it more substance.
Wine Pairing for Orzo with Grilled Swordfish
What wine goes with grilled swordfish? I’ve enjoyed grilled swordfish with rosé wines several times, and I bet that could work well as a pairing for the this dish. But I’d sampled some good Italian wines around the time I was making the orzo with grilled swordfish and kale pesto, and decided to try one. The 2013 Pravis Le Frate Nosiola ($19, 13% ABV) is a soft white from the Trentino/Alto Adige region of Northern Italy. Nosiola is the grape varietal here, one I hadn’t previously tried. For more on the winery, visit their website.
I didn’t seem to make tasting notes for the wine, but I know I was pleased with the pairing. I recall a floral quality with some mineral undertones and hazelnut. Maybe I’ll have to try it again to report back with more details!
An Italian white wine like we paired with this grilled swordfish dish works particularly well with the lively pesto flavor here. If you have a more basic preparation, such as our Grilled Swordfish with Garlic Soy Marinade, you can go with a full bodied white wine like Chardonnay or a lighter red wine such as Pinot Noir.
- 12 ozs orzo
- 14.5 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
- FOR THE KALE PESTO
- 4 cups tightly packed kale leaves, stems removed
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
- generous pinch red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- FOR THE MARINADE
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp basil
- salt and peper to taste
- 1 lb swordfish steak, about 1 inch thick
- Make the kale pesto: Add the kale and garlic to a food processor, coarsely chopping to create enough room for the other ingredients. Next add the pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, cheese, and ⅔ cup olive oil, and puree until it comes to a nice smooth consistency. Set the pesto aside.
- Make the swordfish marinade: in a large combine the ¼ cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper.
- Preheat a grill to medium high. Rinse and pat dry the swordfish. Add it to the bowl with the marinade, and turn it over so that the swordfish is well coated. Set aside to marinade for about 10 minutes.
- Begin boiling water for the orzo and cook according to package instructions while the swordfish marinates and starts being grilled.
- Drain the orzo when done, and toss with a couple scoops of the kale pesto. Stir in the beans. Cover to keep warm while the swordfish is prepared.
- After the swordfish marinates for 10 minutes, start grilling the fish by placing it on the grill. Grill the swordfish with the grill covered for 6 minutes. Flip the fish to the other side, and brush the side now facing up with the orange juice. Grill another 6 minutes, and check for doneness. You want the fish to be just cooked through (all white) but still moist. This typically takes 12 to 15 minutes of total grilling time depending on the thickness of the fish. When the swordfish is done remove it to a platter.
- Plate some orzo, then place a portion of the swordfish on top of the orzo. Spread some extra kale pesto on top of the swordfish, and serve. Repeat with the other plates, then enjoy!