I may have to apologise for posting another fish dish after only just putting up my Thai style hake. However, this dish is something else entirely and is one of the tastiest fish dishes I’ve made to date! Honestly!! Its gone straight to the top of the favourites list and puts sea bass firmly on the winter menu. I’d like to think that this dish fell straight out of my head and into the oven but I actually think its inspired by a dish I had last year in Florence. Its not the same by a long way (obvs- I’m no Italian chef) buts its definitely got an Italian flare to it, but is also warm and comforting – perfect for a winter night. I might also add that its a great sharing dish, which can be presented in the centre of the table, straight out of the oven. If its just for two, you may may not even need plates just grab a fork and dig in.
On top of all of this its also healthy and filling – so its a winner all round. Great stuff :-).
Sea bass fillets with Italian style vegetables
15g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
15g fresh flat parsley, finely chopped
1 medium fresh red chilli, finely chopped
Juice of half lemon
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 fresh fennel sliced
2 sea bass fillets
1 large baking potato chopped into 2cm cubes, skins on
1 courgette seeds cut out and chopped into 1 cm cubes
1 aubergine chopped into 1 cm cubes
10 pitted black olives halved
Extra oil for dressing
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees (fan).
place potatoes in a pan of boiling water and cook for 20 minutes or until soft.
For the sea bass herb dressing: This first bit is really simple – in a bowl mix together mint, parsley, chilli, lemon juice and 2 tbsp rapeseed oil. Season with black pepper and a pinch of sea salt, put to one side and that’s the dressing for the fish sorted.
For the sea bass: Add a table spoon of oil to a hot wok. Add the garlic and gently simmer for one minute, then add the fennel and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Place the fennel and garlic in the middle of a large oven proof dish, leaving free a 2 inch border around the edge of the dish. Place the 2 sea bass fillets, side by side, over the fennel with the white flesh side facing up. Then spoon the herb dressing evenly over both fillets.
For the Italian style vegetables: Add a table spoon of oil to a hot wok. Add courgette and aubergine and stir fry gently for 2 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add to the wok along with passata and olives, mix well. Season with black pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Carefully spoon vegetables around the sea bass, filling the 2 inch border. Drizzle with rapeseed oil. Cover the oven proof dish with foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes, uncovering for the last 10 minutes.
After 25 minutes check if the fish is cooked through by gently flaking back the flesh. Flesh should be bright white with no transparency. If cooked, roughly flake both fillets and finish off with a further drizzle of oil. Oven proof dish can be placed in the middle of the table for diners to help themselves.