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Seared sea bass with fennel and lemon
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70g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 onion, finely diced
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
2 lemon thyme sprigs
1 lemon, zest
100ml dry vermouth (such as Noilly Prat)
250ml fish stock
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 sea bass fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Heat 30g butter in a large frying pan until foaming; keep the rest of the butter in the fridge until needed. Add the onion, fennel, lemon thyme and lemon zest to the pan and gently cook for 5 - 6 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.
2. Add the vermouth, bring to the boil and simmer for about 2 minutes until reduced by a third. Add the stock and bring to the boil; simmer for about 10 minutes until you have a syrupy sauce.
3. Slowly add the remaining cubes of chilled butter to the pan, one at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon. The mixture will thicken a little as you add each cube. Season, remove the thyme sprigs and add the chopped parsley.
4. Heat a frying pan until hot. Brush the sea bass with the olive oil and season. Add the fish to the pan, skin-side down, and fry without moving for 3 minutes. Turn the fish over and remove the pan from the heat.
5. Divide the fennel and onion between two plates and set a piece of fish on top. Serve drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil, if liked.
Learn how to fillet a fish with the help of Waitrose Cookery School Head chef, Gordon McDermott. Click here.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in February 2012.