David Scott AllenFish & SeafoodMain CourseProvencal RecipesTaste

Swordfish with Mediterranean-Style Stuffing

This stuffed swordfish (Italian: spada, French: espadon) recipe is one that I prepared during our trip to beautiful and fascinating Sicily. Technically this island is Italian, but the inhabitants consider themselves Sicilian first, perhaps it is the fact that they surrounded by water on all sides. During our days in Sicily, we visited the daily markets, discovered stunning architecture and enjoyed long meals with friends.

This recipe for Involtini di Pesce Spada (click for step-by-step photos) is Italian at its base; however, all of the ingredients found in Provence. It is not uncommon that the local fish vendor displays fresh espadon on their stand. Although the first time I saw the fish head with its sword, I was a taken aback, but it’s the fishmonger’s way of displaying the freshness of the product.

Swordfish Mediterranean-Style

Involtini di Pesce Spada 

This seafood recipe is easy and quick to prepare. Make certain to buy the freshest fish that you can find, the rest of the ingredients you may already have in your pantry.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 people


  • 2 cups Fresh Breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  • 24 Ripe Cherry or Grape Tomatoes chopped
  • 24 Black Olives chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers rinsed and drained, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Pine nuts
  • 1 bunch Parsley minced
  • 1/4 tsp Hot Pepper Flakes
  • 2 finely grated zest oranges
  • Salt
  • Toothpicks
  • 16 slices (very thin) Swordfish skin removed


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Place 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs in a skillet and drizzle with oil. Mix well, and place over medium heat, stirring until golden.
  • Remove to a plate and let cool. Set aside.
  • Mix remaining breadcrumbs with the tomatoes, olives, capers, pine nuts, parsley, red pepper flakes, and orange zest. Drizzle with oil and mix well. You want enough oil so that, when the mixture is squeezed, it holds together in a clump. Set aside.
  • Set out the swordfish slices and have toothpicks ready. Take a small fistful of the filling - a couple of tablespoons - and squeeze it into a log shape. Place it at the narrow end of a swordfish slice, and then roll it up, and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the other 15 slices of swordfish.
  • Line a roasting pan with parchment. If there is any leftover filling, spread it over the parchment as a base for the involtini.
  • Place the swordfish rolls in the pan and drizzle lightly with oil. Sprinkle the reserved golden breadcrumbs over the top.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes. Serve hot with an arugula salad, and some of the leftover stuffing, if desired.
Keyword Fish, Seafood Recipes
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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