Simple Sea Bass Recipe Served with Fennel and Orange Relish
My wife prepared this dish inspired by a recipe she read in Cooking Light but completely adapted it to our way of cooking (e.g. not so light!).
The original recipe called for serving the fennel and red onion raw but she would have none of that. I like raw fennel in salads but know when it is sautéed, the sweetness comes out and my kids will eat it.
The original recipe also calls for cooking the fish in a skillet on top of the stove but we like to roast fish in the oven. I should qualify that statement by saying we roast or pan roast most fish but will pan fry lots of fish like flounder, grouper, talapia and grill thicker cuts like tuna and swordfish. Doesn't matter how you cook this sea bass as long as you don't overcook it.
Sea Bass with Fennel and Orange Relish Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra-virgin
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- ½ teaspoon grated orange
- rind salt & fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup freshly cut orange sections
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb trimmed of fonds and stalks
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 ounces green olives pitted and cut in half
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 4 - 6 ounce sea bass fillets black or white
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter unsalted
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF
Make the Relish
- Combine the oil, lemon juice, orange juice, grated orange rind and a pinch of salt & pepper in a bowl.
- Add the orange sections to this mixture and toss to coat. Reserve to serve with fish.
Cook the Fennel
- Start by cutting the fennel bulb in half lengthwise and discard the center core. Now slice the fennel halves crosswise into very thin slices.
- In the same pan that you are going to cook the fish (nonstick is preferable), place it over medium heat to get it hot. Add the oil and let it get hot. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the sliced fennel. Let this cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the fennel softens.
- Add the green olives, stir to combine with onion and fennel and cook for a minute or two to heat through.
- Remove this mixture from pan and reserve to serve with fish. Cover the fennel mixture to keep it warm.
Cook the Sea Bass
- In the same pan you cooked the fennel, add the olive oil and twirl it around to coat the pan.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper and add it to the pan skin side down.
- Place the pan into the oven and roast for 10 minutes or until the fish is perfectly cooked.
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven and place onto stove top.
- Carefully move the fish to one side of the pan, add the butter to the other side. Remember, the pan is hot so be careful. When the butter melts, tilt the pan so the butter sits at the bottom. Spoon the butter over the fish until all the butter is gone.
- We served this dish with rice and grilled asparagus so I plated some rice and topped it with the asparagus. Then we plated the fennel, onion, olive mixture in the center of the plate and topped this with the sea bass. Finish the dish with the reserved orange relish. If you still have the fennel fonds, you can finely mince up them up and use them to sprinkle on the plate and on top of the finish dish.