INGREDIENTS (4 people)
4 sea bass fillets (150 – 200g each)
800 g aubergines
20 cherry tomatoes on the vine
Sun-dried Tomatoes, 2 halves, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Extra Virgin Olive oil (to drizzle)
Chives (or parsley), finely chopped
If I was told that I can eat only one type of fish for the next 12 months, I would definitely go for sea bass. If fresh and cooked properly is tender and pleasantly moist, and its subtle, delicate flavour makes it extremely versatile as it will work with virtually any accompaniment.
This recipe uses grilled aubergines and roast cherry tomatoes, and these flavours work just beautifully together.
Peel (optional) and slice them 1/2 cm thick, purge, pat dry, brush with oil and grill (see Grilled Aubergines for details):.
When they cool down and can be handled, cut the aubergines in small cubes
Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and gently cook the minced garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and anchovy fillets, being very careful not to brown the garlic
When the anchovy has dissolved into the oil, add the aubergine and sauté for 3 minutes
ROAST CHERRY TOMATOES:
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Wash the tomatoes an place in a roasting tin, lined with baking parchment
- Drizzle with olive oil and a bit of Sherry vinegar, sprinkle with salt
- Cook in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the skin starts blistering
SEA BASS FILLETS:
- Check with your finger for any pin bones and remove them with tweezers if it’s the case
- With a sharp knife, make shallow incisions on the skin, about 1/2 cm apart from each other. Pinch the fillet between the thumb and index as shown below, it will make it easier:
- Sprinkle with smoked salt, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes
- Heat 3 tbsp. of oil in a large skillet, pat the fillets dry on both sides and place the fillets, skin side down, on the pan.
- The heat will make the skin retract and the fillet curve: press the fillets down with a spoon or a fish slice until they can hold the shape. NOTE: It’s very important that there is direct contact between the skin and the pan, because you want the fillets to cook quickly and the skin to get crispy. If you are making more than one fillet, you can place a weight on top of it. I use a ramekin in the picture below:
- Cook on high heat until the upper side is almost white
- Turn them and cook the other side for 30 seconds
To serve, make a bed of aubergines and place the fillet, skin side up, on top of it, with the roasted tomatoes, on the side; drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with finely chopped chives (or parsley)