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    Sea bass with lemon, olives, tomatoes and saffron potatoes

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    Sea bass with lemon, olives, tomatoes and saffron potatoes

    I first tasted this dish at Chez Félix, a favourite restaurant of Graham Greene when he lived in Antibes. If there isn’t space in the roasting tin for the tomatoes, cook them separately.

    • Preparation time: 35 minutes
    • Cooking time: 55 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 5 Tomatoes, 1 peeled, deseeded and diced; 4 halved, deseeded
    • 1 tbsp Chopped dill
    • 150ml Extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 Waxy potatoes, peeled and halved
    • 1 tsp Saffron threads
    • 4 Onions, quartered
    • 2 x 600g Sea bass, gutted
    • 2 tsp Fennel seeds
    • 3 tbsp Olive oil
    • 2 tbsp Breadcrumbs
    • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
    • 1 tbsp Chopped thyme
    • 1 tbsp Chopped parsley
    • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp Black olives
    • 2 Preserved lemons, skin cut into large dice


    1. About an hour before serving, mix the diced tomato and dill with the extra virgin oil, to infuse; set aside. Cook the potatoes with the saffron in a pan of salt water for 10–12 minutes; remove and set aside. Add the onions to the saffron water; cook for 10–12 minutes.
    2. Preheat the oven to 220˚C/gas 7. Wash and dry the fish, sprinkle the fennel seeds inside; season. Oil a large roasting tin, put the onions in the centre with the fish on top and place the potatoes around. Mix the breadcrumbs, garlic, herbs, seasoning and 1 tbsp oil; divide between the tomato halves and place them around the fish. Mix 2 tbsp oil and lemon juice; drizzle over. Place in the oven.
    3. After 15 minutes, scatter over the olives and diced lemons; cook for another 15 minutes. Serve from the tin, or take the fish off the bone and put on a platter with the veg. Serve with the infused oil, to drizzle over the fish.

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    Drinks recommendation

    Saffron and rosé are a classic Provençal pairing. Try this for its fruit flavours. Domaine de Buganay Rosé 2008 Côtes de Provence, South of France. Bin 401407; £7.99.


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    3 stars