Grilled Baja Fish Torta

baja fish torta, swordfish sandwich
Grilled Baja Fish Torta

Grilled Fresh Swordfish with Grilled Nopalitos, Pineapple, and Avocado
Caper Cumin Aioli, Pickled Jalapeño, Cilantro
On a Bolillo (Crusty Mexican Oval-Shaped Roll)

Baja California Dreaming…years ago we would take road trips down to Mexico. Fishing was a must. So, naturally, were fish tacos. But our fish didn’t always end up in a tortilla with cabbage, salsa, crema, and a squeeze of lime – sometimes we enjoyed it on a special oval-shaped roll that was crusty outside with a dense yet soft interior. Serving grilled nopalitos recently made me nostalgic for Baja, the fresh-caught fish, and the endless cacti along Highway 1. Baja is home to more varieties of cactus, perhaps than anywhere else in the world, with many exclusive to the peninsula.

A torta can be filled with many things from meat, to eggs, to beans and vegetables, but the true signature of a torta is that it is FILLED! My grilled nopalitos with caper cumin aioli were a big hit, so here I incorporate those ingredients into a sandwich adding various flavors from my memories of Baja.

Fresh local fish of course, plus avocado, pineapple, jalapeño, cilantro, lime – and nopalitos on a bolillo, do indeed satisfy my nostalgia for Baja California…And since we were camping back then, the ingredients for this torta were grilled over an open fire.

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Grilled Nopalitos, Caper Cumin Aioli

grilled nopalitos
Grilled Nopalitos, Olive Oil, Sea Salt
Mexican Lime, Cilantro
Caper Cumin Aioli

Tired of grilled artichokes? No, neither am I.

I wasn’t looking for a surrogate but I found grilled nopalitos do bring something muy diferente a la mesa. Some think the flavor is reminiscent of green beans. But they must be talking about boiled nopalitos because grilled cactus paddle tastes a lot like a lemony grilled artichoke. So in the interest of continued summer grilling and using more interesting ingredients, I’m serving grilled nopalitos.

caper cumin aioli

And since artichoke and mayonnaise are one heck of a duo, I serve these with a caper cumin aioli. Each guest helps themselves to a paddle, a half-lime, some cilantro leaves, and a little ramekin of aioli. The best way to eat these nopalitos is with a knife and fork. Squeeze lime juice over the paddle. Slice one of the “fingers” into a bite-sized piece, add a couple cilantro leaves, and dip in to the aioli. Muy Delicioso.

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