Roast sea bream with fennel, sourdough and preserved lemons
- February 2020
- Serves 2
- Hands-on time 10 min, oven time 35 min
Classic fresh flavours combine forces in a fish dish that’s simple to prepare and quick to cook – plus there’s minimal washing up involved. Enjoy this roast sea bream recipe for two with a crisp glass of white wine and make date night extra special.
- 40.5g (4.1g saturated)
- 16g (5g sugars)
- 1 large fennel bulb, sliced (fronds reserved)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 x 450g sustainable sea bream or other round fish such as sea bass, gutted and scaled (see tip)
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 large slice sourdough bread, cut into chunks
- 2 preserved lemons (see Know-how), pith discarded, peel finely sliced, plus 1 tbsp brine
- 100ml Noilly Prat or other white vermouth
- Handful chopped fresh parsley
- ½ bunch fresh dill, chopped
- 100g pitted large green olives, roughly sliced (such as halkidiki)
- Juice ½ lemon
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Arrange the fennel slices in a shallow roasting tin or dish big enough to hold the fish. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of the oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast for 15 minutes until starting to soften.
- Slash one side of each fish 3 times with a sharp knife, then tuck a bay leaf into each slash. Remove the fennel from the oven and scatter the sourdough over it. Sit the fish on top, slashed-side up, then sprinkle with the sliced preserved lemons. Drizzle the fish with the brine, 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the vermouth, then season with black pepper only (the brine and lemons are salty).Return the dish/tin to the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until the flesh is opaque and comes away easily from the bones when you test the fish with the point of a knife.
- Meanwhile, mix the reserved fennel fronds, parsley and dill with the sliced olives, remaining olive oil and the lemon juice. Spoon the herb/olive mix over the fish and serve with buttered potatoes or more sourdough.
Use the best fish available from your fishmonger on the day. Currently the Marine Conservation Society suggests good quality farmed sea bream are the most sustainable choice.
Preserved lemons have been pickled in brine and add a citrussy boost to dishes. You’ll find them in delis and large supermarkets.
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