Roasted Black Sea Bass with Tomato and Olive Salad

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Last week, we hosted a dinner party for my mother's birthday. With ten guests, it was out biggest sit-down dinner party to date, and it was a huge success. I cooked a menu out of one of the last issues of Gourmet, which included this fantastic pairing of sea bass and a tomato and olive salad. 
Black sea bass was wildly expensive (and not ocean-friendly) so we opted for local, wild striped bass, which was delicious. I skipped the recipe's instructions to sandwich the fillets over the onions and oregano and simply roasted the fillets with the onions and herbs on top -- they turned out just fine.

The tomato salad is just delicious: It's requires a little more effort than my usual simple, tomato salads, but it's definitely worth the work. The use of anchovy paste in the vinaigrette was a revelation to me. You could serve this as a side dish for any number of summer menus. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Roasted Black Sea Bass with Tomato and Olive Salad
From Gourmet magazine

For salad:
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound grape tomatoes (preferably mixed colors), halved if large
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes (preferably mixed colors), quartered if large
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
4 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped oregano

For fish:
4 (6-to 8-ounce) black sea bass fillets with skin, any pin bones removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
6 (3-to 4-inch) oregano sprigs

Make salad: 
Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in anchovy paste, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whisk in oil. Toss with remaining salad ingredients. Let stand, stirring occasionally, while fish roasts.

Roast fish:

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle. Oil a 1 1/2-to 2-quart gratin or other shallow baking dish.
Rub flesh sides of fish with 2 teaspoons oil (total) and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (total). Divide onion slices and oregano sprigs into 2 portions and sandwich each portion between 2 fillets, skin sides out. Tie with kitchen string crosswise at 2-inch intervals and transfer to baking dish. Score skin on top in several places with a sharp knife and drizzle with remaining 4 teaspoons oil.
Roast fish until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Cut off string and cut sandwiched fillets in half crosswise. Serve topped with salad.


Tim Fenton said...

I had the privilege of eating this meal and it was splendid. Actually, striped bass is second to no bass, not even the expensive black kind.

Laura's dad


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