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Who's Cooking: Dana Greer, East Meadow

Dana Romano Greer of East Meadow with her

Dana Romano Greer of East Meadow with her grilled swordfish and spicy heirloom tomato salad. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan


Dana Greer works as a hairdresser in her dad's salon in East Meadow. She lives in East Meadow with her husband and dog.

When and how did you get interested in cooking?

I guess I became interested when I was in college. I went to Nassau [Community College] for dietary management and they had us do a cooking class once a week, six hours, in a professional kitchen. It just opened my eyes to how much I enjoyed it. Actually, it made me move away from dietary management as a profession and just cook for pleasure.

How would you describe your cooking style?

I would probably say my cooking is spontaneous. I don't really follow recipes. I wing it. I go with what I have on hand. I try not to overthink it too much. I'm not a dessert person at all. I hate to bake. I hate measuring.

Is fish a specialty?

I do make a lot of fish. I like to shop at Whole Foods because of their Global Animal Partnership. I want to know where my food is coming from and that the fish was caught humanely. I have a free seafood watch app on my phone, from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It allows me to search for ocean-friendly seafood on my phone while I'm shopping, to find out what regions are good for certain kinds of fish, how the fish are caught.

Any tips for cooking the fish?

Any time you cook on the grill you shouldn't have to pry the food off the grates. Fish tends to stick, so I use nonstick cooking spray or lightly oil the grill grates. I turn it when there are good grill marks. You can eat swordfish when it's raw in the middle, which is the way I like to cook it. You don't want it to dry out. I finish the dish with a drizzle of truffle oil, which I love. It has a pretty strong flavor. If you don't like it, use extra-virgin olive oil.


Greer recommends grilling the other lime half for a colorful garnish.

For tomato salad:

5 to 6 variously colored heirloom tomatoes, sliced

1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

5 to 7 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Juice of half a lime

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon truffle-infused olive oil or plain extra-virgin olive oil

For fish:

1 pound swordfish steak

Extra-virgin olive oil




1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high.

2. While grill is heating, make tomato salad: Combine tomatoes, jalapeño, basil, lime juice, salt, pepper and truffle oil in a medium bowl. Toss and let sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Cook fish: Brush fish with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill without moving for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and grill an additional 3 to 5 minutes without moving, depending on desired doneness. Serve fish alongside tomato salad. Makes 2 servings.

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