Sicilians really do love their fish and especially their swordfish. Sicily’s enviable position surrounded by three seas explains why fish holds such a revered place in their cuisine. Their passion and skill in preparing fish are unmatched. And although we might not be able to get a plane to Sicily we can certainly enjoy a great swordfish recipe right in our kitchen.

We are proposing a simple appetizer today with slices of smoked almonds transformed into delicious rolls filled with citrus aromatized couscous. What a great recipe to welcome your friends and to serve with a glass of white wine. It will bring everyone straight to Sicily. Bring on the ingredients and feel the Sicilian sea Breeze while you are preparing this delicious recipe.

Here is how to prepare this amazingly easy swordfish rolls with citrus couscous:

  • Time needed: 10-15 minutes
  • Serves: 2 persons

Recipe by Sara Bonaccorsi



  • 200 ml of water
  • 5 grams of salt
  • 200 grams of Martino Couscous
  • 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest from an orange
  • Zest from a lemon
  • ½ orange juice
  • ½ lemon Juice
  • 4 -5 smoked swordfish slices
  • Balsamic glaze as needed


Hydrate the Couscous:

As always we begin by re-hydrating the couscous. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, pour 200 ml of water, add a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Bring to a simmer.

Turn off the heat and pour evenly 200 grams of Martino Couscous. Cover with a lid and let the couscous absorb all the water slowly for about 4-5 minutes. After the necessary time, fluff the couscous with the help of a fork, this will prevent the couscous from forming any lumps and will help keep a smooth texture in the dish.

Preparing the couscous filling

Pour the hydrated couscous in a mixing bowl. Add the zest of an orange and of a lemon. Next, squeeze half orange and half lemon inside the couscous and mix well with the help of a spoon.

Wrap the smoked swordfish slices

Take one smoked swordfish slice at the time. Add couscous at the center with a spoon and wrap it to create a perfect swordfish roll. When ready pinch with a toothpick to keep everything in place.


In a serving dish place the filled swordfish slices one next to the other. Add just a pinch of lemon zest and orange zest and sprinkle on top with balsamic glaze. Your dish is ready to serve!

Notes and Variations:

  • If you would like to serve this recipe as a main dish it is perfectly possible. Use fresh swordfish, working with 1 fish steak at a time, place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently with a meat pounder to flatten to 1/4 inch thick. When ready fill the slices with the couscous mixture and toss them to the grill for a couple of minutes. There you go, same ingredients transformed into a warm main dish for the whole family! Serve it with green beans and with lemon slices.
  • Secret Chef Tip: to cook a special meal, boil the couscous in fish broth.
  • Saffron and paprika go well with this recipe as well, although you can experiment with your favorite seasoning.

Couscous with fish is a recipe with ancient origins, but this dish continues to amaze and delight the palates of the Sicilians even today. Sicilian cuisine is very diverse, as it has been influenced by the many cultures that visited its wonderful land in ancient times. If you want to receive more ancient Italian recipes make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get them directly in your inbox.

In this delicious recipe, the small balls of Martino’s 100% durum wheat semolina couscous are scented with citrus fruits and wrapped in the great aroma of the smoked swordfish. All of the colors and scents of the sea blend together in this dish, which offers an inimitable taste and fragrance. It will definitely travel you to the beautiful Italian coast in a blink. Try it out and leave us a comment to tell us all about it.

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