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Fish of the season SPRING - SEA BASS - Updated 22/05/24


Wild  Bass is BACK!

After a 2 month break to spawn the season is open again for our South Coast Wild Sea Bass

We will be featuring a few recipes over Spring to celebrate this fantastic local fish.

Best eaten roasted or grilled as a whole fish as this retains fantastic flavours and texture. Many flavours work with Bass or you can keep it simple to enjoy it's true taste.


Our fish most caught locally by Rod & Line are in perfect condition when they reach us, superb freshness allows for you to enjoy them in their prime!


Here's our first recipe idea below: Debora Robertson’s whole roasted Bass, great for a Sunday lunch with a twist


RECIPE 1

Whole Roasted Wild Bass with a fragrant olive oil

Serves 4


  • extra virgin olive oil 80ml, plus a little more to finish – use your good oil

  • lemon 2 strips of zest, about 6cm, carefully pared from an unwaxed lemon with a sharp vegetable peeler, making sure you don’t remove any bitter white pith

  • fennel seeds 1 tsp, lightly crushed

  • waxy potatoes 1kg, such as anya or charlotte

  • fennel 1 small bulb, about 350-400g

  • fresh lemon thyme a small bunch, about 6-7 sprig

  • torpedo shallots 2, about 140g, halved and thinly sliced

  • fresh tarragon 5 sprigs

  • bay leaves 4

  • unwaxed lemons juice of

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Wild Sea bass 1.5kg, scaled and gutted for you

  • lemon wedges to serve


  1. Put the oil in a small pan with the lemon zest and fennel seeds. Warm gently, without letting it simmer, for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180C fan/gas mark 6.

  3. While the oil is cooling, prepare the vegetables. Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly.

  4. Quarter the fennel, remove the tough core, then slice the quarters thinly (see above). If your fennel has fronds, save some to put inside the roasting fish. Remove the leaves from 4-5 sprigs of the thyme.

  5. Brush a little of the seasoned oil all over the inside of a roasting tin or ceramic gratin dish which is large enough to hold the fish. Put the potatoes, fennel and shallots into the tin with the thyme leaves, 4 sprigs of the tarragon and 3 of the bay leaves, and pour over about 3 tablespoons of the oil (hold back the strip of lemon zest, but let some of the fennel seeds drop in there).

  6. Trickle on the lemon juice and season with a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Give everything a very good stir, then pat it all down into an even layer. Cover it tightly with foil and put it into the oven to roast for about 30-40 minutes, removing it once to turn everything over before covering it again and returning it to the oven. When all the vegetables are quite tender, remove the foil and whack the oven up to 200C fan/gas mark 7. Make sure it’s up to temperature before you put the fish in.

  7. Prepare the fish by cutting 3 or 4 diagonal slashes almost to the bone on both sides. Place the fish on top of the vegetables and brush it all over with the oil, inside the cavity and into the cuts, and all over the skin. Put the lemon zest strips, the remaining thyme sprigs, tarragon sprig and bay leaf inside the fish, along with some of the fennel seeds and any fennel fronds you have. Season the fish with salt and pepper and return the whole tray, uncovered, to the hot hot hot oven.

  8. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through – to test this, press a small, sharp knife into one of the cuts and if you can gently scrape some of the flesh away from the bone without resistance, it’s done. Rest for 5 minutes before serving (but make sure the plates are warmed), with a little more of the fruity olive oil trickled over the top. Original recipe here: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2023/mar/26/debora-robertson-sunday-lunch-whole-roast-sea-bass-recipe#img-1

RECIPE 2

Sussex Sea Bass parcels with asparagus & roasted tomato dressing

Serves 2


This sea bass recipe is fresh, healthy, and perfect for a quick spring/summer meal. Roasted cherry tomatoes burst to create a vibrant sauce, adding extra sweetness to the dish.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 lemon, sliced

  • 1/2 small bulb fennel, sliced

  • 2 Wild Sea bass portions (150-200g each)

  • 8 tips asparagus

  • a few leaves basil

For the dressing

  • 16 cherry tomatoes, on the vine

  • 2 cloves garlic, bruised

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar


Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

  2. Put the cherry tomatoes, garlic and chilli flakes in a roasting tin, season, drizzle with oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

  3. Remove from the oven, add the red wine vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes.

  4. Pour the tomatoes and all the juices from the tin into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

  5. Take a 30cm x 30cm piece of baking paper, fold in half and open up again. If using a BBQ wrap the parcel in tin foil after.

  6. Put a few lemon and fennel slices close to the fold, top with the sea bass, asparagus and basil leaves, and season.paper back over and seal along all edges.

  7. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Alternatively you can cook on top of BBQ for 15-20 minutes.

  8. Serve the parcels opened with the dressing spooned on top.





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