Richard Mooney's Sea Bass Primavera with Salsa Verde
Sea Bass Primavera
- 4 sea bass fillets, each 6 oz (170 g), skin on
- Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
- 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- Grated zest of 1⁄2 lemon
- Few sprigs of fresh dill, coarsely chopped
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- 20 tender asparagus spears, trimmed of woody ends
- 8 young carrots, peeled and cut into attractive pieces
- 1 bunch of Italian parsley, leaves only
- 1 bunch of mint, leaves only
- 1 bunch of dill, leaves only
- A few celery leaves
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and dried
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
- 1⁄2–1 cup (4–8 fl oz/125–250 ml) extra virgin olive oil
For the salsa verde
- Place the parsley, mint, dill, celery leaves, capers and chili flakes in the blender.
- Add a drizzle of oil and blend to a smooth purée, then add enough oil to make a light pouring consistency.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
For the sea bass primavera
- Place the fish fillets on a plate and season with a few turns of ground pepper and pinch of sea salt.
- In a small bowl, mix together the shallot, lemon zest, dill, and extra virgin olive oil. Use to coat the fish, then set aside for 1 hour or overnight.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Blanch the vegetables separately and in batches by dropping stems of asparagus and carrots into salted boiling water. Cook until al dente then remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into an ice bath to arrest the cooking and set the color. Wrap in a kitchen towel and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Heat a heavy ovenproof skillet over high heat.
- Remove the fish from the marinade and place skin side down in the skillet for a few minutes to crisp and char the skin.
- Place the skillet in the oven for approximately 10 minutes. Do not overcook, check the fish after 7–8 minutes, remembering that it will continue to cook once removed from the oven.
- While the fish is in the oven, cook the carrots and asparagus in some butter with a little salt and cracked black pepper.
- Arrange the fish, skin side up on four plates. Surround with the asparagus and carrots and a generous dollop of the salsa verde.
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