Frankie Avalon, well-known entertainment legend of both the screen and the stage, is stepping into the culinary world with a new cookbook. Inspired by the Italian classics of his childhood, “Frankie Avalon’s Italian Family Cookbook” brings to life the homey Italian kitchen of his younger years. Woven together by family history and an honest love for cooking, Avalon takes Italian classics and makes them his own. We’re sharing his Swordfish Kebabs, a healthy and fresh tasting dish to finish up grill season with your family!

Swordfish Kebabs

with lemon and basil marinade

Makes 6 Servings 

Swordfish Kebabs

When the weather cooperates (which, I have to admit, is pretty often in Los Angeles), my sons and sons-in-law usually take over at the grill and I sit back in the sun and enjoy being with my family. The beauty of this dish is that it is so easy to make, and doesn’t take a lot of concentration to feed a crowd. The meaty flavor of the swordfish can stand up to the lemon and basil. But don’t overmarinate the fish, or the acid can “cook” it and change the texture.


  • 2 pounds swordfish, cut 1 inch thick, skin removed
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 24 pieces about 1½ inches square
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 6 long metal grilling skewers (or use long bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil


  1. To make the marinade: In a blender, process the oil, wine, lemon zest and juice, mustard, salt, and red pepper flakes until thickened. Add the basil and pulse until it is minced. Pour the marinade into a 1-gallon, self-sealing plastic bag. Cut the swordfish into 1½-inch chunks. Add the swordfish to the marinade, close the bag, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 30 minutes to 1 hour, no longer.
  2. Prepare an outdoor grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (450°F).
  3. For each kebab, thread 4 swordfish chunks alternating with 4 red bell pepper pieces, onto a skewer. (If using bamboo skewers, wrap the exposed end of the skewer in aluminum foil to help keep it from burning.) Lightly brush the kebabs all over with the oil.
  4. Brush the grill grate clean. Grill the kebabs, with the lid closed as much as possible, turning once or twice, until the swordfish is just opaque when pierced at the center, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Serve hot, with the lemon wedges.

Frankie Avalon’s Italian Family Cookbook” comes out October 6, 2015. For more delicious Italian recipes, head to your local book store or login to Amazon and order it online.

For more delicious recipes check out our Food & Drink section.

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