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    Roasted Sea Bass with Lemon and Fennel

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    Roasted Sea Bass with Lemon and Fennel

    The luxurious, meaty flesh of sea bass is a real treat, perfectly complemented by the assertive flavours of lemon and fennel. Caramelising the fennel and lemon beforehand gives them a lovely, sweet flavour and makes them look impressive. Serve the fish head on or off; it's up to you.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes
    • Total time: 40 minutes 40 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 3 bulbs fennel
    • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
    • 3 lemons, halved horizontally
    • 2-3 whole sea bass (about 1.5kg in total), gutted, scaled and cleaned
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 220˚C, gas mark 7. Lightly oil 2 roasting dishes. Cut off the tops of the fennel and reserve. Discard the tough outer layer of the fennel, then cut the bulbs into thick wedges. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the lemons, cut side down, and the fennel and fry until golden and caramelised - about 5 minutes for the lemons; longer for the fennel wedges because you'll have to turn them. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Stuff the sea bass with the fennel tops, and season well inside. Put the fish in the roasting dishes and brush lightly with olive oil.
    2. Arrange the caramelised lemons and fennel around the fish. Sprinkle the whole lot with salt and pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the fish is opaque and comes away easily from the bones. If you're using 2 shelves in the oven, swap the dishes over halfway through cooking. Serve straight away with the lemon and fennel, the mojo verde and herbed lentils as well as boiled new potatoes and wilted spinach.

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