- 2 sea bass fillets, about 140g each (see tips, below)
- 1 small head of broccoli
Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…
- 1 orange
One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…
- 6 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 4 tbsp small capers
Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…
- 6 anchovy, roughly chopped
Silver, slender salty little fish found mainly around the Black Sea and the Pacific and Atlantic…
- 1 lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
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Before you start cooking, get everything prepared. Trim each sea bass fillet so they are both the same shape, then score the skin, cutting into the flesh slightly, 5 or 6 times at about 1cm intervals. Set aside.
Segment the orange – slice off the top and bottom, then cut away the skin and pith. Cut away each segment, then squeeze out the juice from the rest of the orange into a bowl. Cut the broccoli into medium-size florets.
To make the warm broccoli salad, cook the florets in a pan of boiling salted water for 1 min until just cooked. While the broccoli is cooking, put a frying pan on to heat. As soon as the broccoli is cooked, drain it, then tip straight into the hot frying pan to ‘scorch’ out all the moisture.
Turn off the heat, then scatter the orange segments over the broccoli. Toss for a few moments just to heat through, then tip into a bowl and dress with the orange juice and 2 tbsp olive oil. Season with pepper and a small sprinkling of sea salt, then set aside.
Wipe out the pan. Season the fish with a little salt and pepper just before cooking. Heat the frying pan until very hot, then add 2 tbsp oil. Lay the fish fillets in the pan, skin-side down. As soon as it goes in, press each fillet down with your fingers or a fish slice to stop it from curling up.
Reduce the heat to medium, then leave the fish to cook for 3-4 mins, undisturbed, until you can see that the flesh has cooked two-thirds of the way up and the skin is crisp and brown.
Flip the fillets over, then fry on the flesh side for about 2 mins until just done, basting the skin with the oil in the pan as it cooks. Leave to rest on a warm plate, skin-side up, and baste with the hot oil and juices from the pan.
Pour 2 tbsp olive oil into the pan and place it back on a high heat. Scatter in the capers and anchovies, then cook until they start to crisp. Grate over the lemon zest and squeeze in the juice of ½ the lemon. If there isn’t enough juices in the pan to drizzle over both plates, add a splash more oil. You are now ready to plate up.
As the crisp skin is an important part of this finished dish, you need to make sure that the fish has been scaled properly before cooking as fish scales are tough and inedible. Ask your fishmonger to scale the fish for you and, when you get the fish home, wipe the skin with a piece of kitchen paper to get rid of any stray scales that may be clinging on.
Wild sea bass
I use wild sea bass in my restaurants and, to ensure that it’s sustainable, I use only line-caught. Wild sea bass fillets are a lot larger than the farmed ones you get in supermarkets, so if you are using farmed, the fillets will weigh about 100g once trimmed. They won’t need to be pan-fried for as long, so take 1 min off the cooking time.
With this recipe, watch how much salt you use – anchovies and capers are very salty so the broccoli and fish will need only a small sprinkling.