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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Sea Bass with Summer Vegetables and Sauce Vierge

Serves 4 or 8 as a starter.

4 sea bass fillets, scaled
185g/6 ½ oz broad beans
100g/3 ½ oz petit pois
100g/3 ½ oz baby carrots, quartered lengthways
2 large spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the sauce
2 tomatoes, skinned and diced
6 basil leaves roughly shredded
2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
2 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
50ml/2fl oz rape seed oil
35ml/ 1 ½fl oz olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon

Blanche the carrots for 5 minutes either in a steamer or a pan of boiling water.  Then add the broad beans and petit pois and cook for 5 more minutes until tender.  Drain and immediately immerse in ice cold water. Remove the outer pod from the broad beans so you just have the bright green little beans. 

To cook the fish, make 4 to 5 small slits through the skin of each fillet and brush with a little oil.  Place in a hot oven,( 200c/fan 180/ gas 6) skin side up for 5 minutes.  Alternatively if you want crispy skin, heat the oil in a frying pan until hot and fry the fillets skin side down for 2/3 minutes, then 30 seconds on the other side.  

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, put the rape seed oil and olive oil in a pan and warm gently.  Add the spring onions, parsley, coriander and lemon juice.  Add the drained vegetables and toss through with half of the tomato.  Season with a pinch of sugar,  salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Warm everything through, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Toss in the remaining tomato and stir through.

To serve, divide the vegetables between the plates, cut the sea bass in half and place on top with a dollop of basil mayonnaise (see below).

To get ahead.  The vegetables and tomatoes can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead.  The mayonnaise will keep for a week in the fridge.

Homemade Basil Mayonnaise
In a food processor put 1 whole egg, 1 tsp Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp white wine vinegar.  Process until combined and then with the processor still running slowly pour in a steady stream about 300ml sunflower or vegetable oil.  The mayonnaise gets thicker the more oil you add.  When you get to your required consistency add a little salt, ground white pepper and sugar.  Whizz and taste again.  Shred a small handful of basil leaves and stir into the mayonnaise.

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