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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Roast Seabass, Courgette & Cherry Tomato with Sliced Sweet & New Potatoes

A whole seabass cooked on the bone is a wonderful, flavourful and delicate eating experience.  Sea Bass is such a versatile fish that it can take a variety of seasonings and flavourings to enhance it but also has enough flavour and texture in its own right to be enjoyed on its own.  The majority of seabass available in supermarkets is farmed so you have no worries about over fishing.  If, however, you can get a wild one it is worth paying the extra for it.

 For this dish I sliced sweet potatoes and new potatoes and roasted them with olive oil, thyme and salt & pepper.  Cook them in a hot oven for about 10-12 minutes first then add the whole  fish and the chopped courgette and cherry tomato on top and put back in the oven for approx 15mins.

To prepare the fish.  Firstly, ask your fishmonger to gut and scale the fish.  Before placing in the oven score the skin and flesh in three slashes on the top side.  This helps the heat of the oven get into the middle of the fish and will make serving the fish easier.

Do not overcook the bass.  Literally 12-15 minutes is enough.  The flesh on the back should feel firm but also springy.

To serve firstly remove the head.  Using a spatula place it just behind the gills and chop.  If the fish is cooked the head will come away easily.  Secondly, using a small knife slide it under the skin through one of the slashes and peel back the skin towards the back bone.  Along the back are a series of bones /  fins which will easily pull away from the fish if it is cooked correctly.

Assemble the dish with the potatoes as a bed and the fish on top and the roasted courgette and tomato around the side.  If you like finish the dish with a little butter sauce / beurre blanc.