Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total preparation time: 35 minutes
Salsa Giallo always ends up on the menu at A Voce in the summertime, when we have beautiful local peppers and tomatoes. Salsa Giallo is my fancy name for “yellow sauce.” It’s super-super-easy, and great with grilled fish like tuna or seafood like shrimp. The idea here is to very slowly cook the peppers in the olive oil till they’re very soft. Add the salt at the beginning, so that the pepper releases its juices, and then let it soften.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, sliced “Goodfellas” thin
1 medium yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/4 teaspoon pepperoncini (red pepper flakes), divided
1 very ripe medium yellow tomato, rough chopped (skin included)
1 tablespoon red wine or sherry vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 (6 to 7 ounces each) swordfish fillets
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium pot over low heat. Add the garlic and toast for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the yellow pepper and the pepperoncini; allow the peppers to cook very slowly, covered, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking – 12 to 15 minutes. If the peppers start to color or stick, add 1/4 cup of water and allow the peppers to steam-cook.
Once the peppers have cooked to thorough softness, put them in the blender. Add the chopped tomato, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the sugar. Pulse until the ingredients have combined into a thick liquid. Tomatoes are always different: sometimes they’re sweeter, sometimes they have more acid, so if, after you blend it, you taste the mixture and say to yourself, “this is sour,” add a little more sugar. If you find it a little too sweet, on the other hand, add more vinegar. If the pepper peels bother you, push the mixture through a strainer, using the back of a spoon. Reserve the sauce at room temperature.
Rub the swordfish fillets with the fennel seed, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepperoncini. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and grill or broil until cooked through, 10 minutes per inch thickness. The sauce gives great eye appeal; put it on the bottom of the plate in a pool, and put your fish on top.