Here is one of my favourite, easy Summertime dishes of all time. Beautifully fresh Sea bass is a hard one to beat, and luckily is pretty easy to find in most shops. Red Grapes may not have been something you have seen in a savoury dish before, but trust me they really work here. The sweet and juicy bursts of flavour from these roasted grapes is so delicious with the fish, and I believe it really brightens the whole meal up to another level. I got the idea from my childhood, where we would often have Mackerel with a Gooseberry sauce, I found it fantastic.
This dish is pretty simple to make, but does require some time and precision when it comes to the cooking of the fish to keep it juicy and tender. Unfortunately this dish is not one you can prepare ahead of time, and is really best prepared right before you wish to eat, so make sure to set around half an hour aside to have ample time to cook.
Ingredients (Serves 2 adults)
- 2 Fresh Sea Bass fillets (de-boned)
- 10 New Potatoes
- Punnet Red Seedless Grapes
- 5 Tbsp Olive oil
- Maldon Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Capers in brine
- Juice 1 Lemon
- 2 strips of peeled lemon zest
Begin by preparing the Potatoes. Clean any dirt off the skins. Slice the potatoes into coins about 1⁄2 a centimetre thick.
In a large frying pan heat 3 Tbsp of the Olive Oil until it starts to dance across the pan. Add the sliced Potatoes.
Cook on a medium high heat, tossing the slices now and then to achieve a deep golden brown colour on both sides. This will take around 10 minutes to get a really good crunch and colour, see keep your eye on it.
Transfer the crispy Potatoes to an oven dish and set aside to warm through later. Do not cover as this will make them soggy.
For the Grapes; Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
In an oven proof dish, place 2 large bunches of grapes, you can use as much as you like, I love a big juicy helping of these.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp of Olive oil over the grapes, followed with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and the juice of 1⁄2 the Lemon. Rub over all the grapes for even coverage.
Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the Sea Bass.
Rub each side of both fillets generously with salt. Using around 2 tsp in total.
In a large heavy based frying pan (you can use the one from the potatoes), heat 1 Tbsp of oil on high until nearly spitting. You want to ensure the oil is really hot.
Carefully lay the fish skin side down into the hot pan and press down using a spatula to ensure the entirety of the skin is in contact with surface of the pan. This helps to produce a really evenly crispy skin.
Leave the fillets to cook skin side down for around 3-4 minutes.
At this point, put the prepared potatoes into the oven along side the grapes to heat through.
Add the butter, Capers, two strips of peeled lemon zest and juice of half the Lemon to the hot pan.
The butter should melt rapidly and begin to slightly brown and froth.
Carefully flip the sea bass over onto the belly side for the final minute of cooking.
During this minute, quickly baste the fish with the caper butter using a metal spoon (this will help the flavour to penetrate the flesh and make for a juicier fish).
Remove the pan from the heat.
Arrange the crispy Potatoes to the side of your dishes.
Gently place a Sea Bass fillet, skin side up, on each plate in the middle, next to the Potatoes.
On the bare side of the dishes, place a vine of grapes, placing each element with purpose for an elegant dish.
Finally spoon a couple of spoonfuls of the Lemon, Caper, Butter sauce over the fish.