Grilled Sea Bass with Romesco Sauce
Romesco sauce originates from the fishing community in Catalonia, Spain. A place where red peppers, garlic and a bit of piment are well-entrenched in the local cuisine. For this recipe for grilled sea bass, I needed a sauce with enough flavour to enhance the fish without being overpowering. Also, the dish needed to pair well with a rosé from Commanderie de Peyrassol. But, as you know, I like a challenge, and this one was a bit of culinary architecture. The result is a delicious romesco-inspired sauce with grilled sea bass.
Grilled, Herbed Chilean Sea Bass with Romesco
For the Romesco Sauce:
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 3 large Roma tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Ají Amarillo purée or 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1 tbsp Pistachio paste or other nut paste
- 1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1/4 Lime
- 1/2 tsp Salt
For the Fish:
- 2 sprigs Fresh Basil
- 10 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 tsp culinary lavender buds
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs Chilean sea bass 1-inch thick, in four pieces
- Fresh Parsley chopped for garnish
To Make the Romesco-esque Sauce:
- Heat your grill to high.
- Blacken the red pepper on all sides.
- When fully black, remove from the grill and place in a paper bag. Close and let pepper steam for 10 minutes.
- While pepper is steaming, grill the tomatoes on all sides until blackened and split.
- Cut tomatoes in half and remove the blackened skin and any seeds.
- Place tomato pieces in a blender.
- Remove pepper from the bag, then peel or scrape off the blackened skin, remove ribs and seeds. Place pepper in the blender.
- Add ají amarillo, nut paste, olive oil, lime, and salt. Purée until smooth and light in color, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
To Cook the Fish:
- Trim the fish into equal 6-ounce portions and place in a shallow baking dish.
- Finely chop the basil, thyme, and lavender buds together and place in a small bowl.
- Add the salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spoon over the fish, turn to coat, and marinate for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high - about 400°F/200°C.
- When hot, oil the grates then grill fish for 4 minutes on the first side and three minutes on the flip side. (You will see the fish becoming opaque as it cooks.)
- Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the sauce onto the plates, then top with fish and garnish with chopped parsley.
bream (gilt-head) = la dorade royale
cod = le cabillaud
salt cod = la morue
hake = le merlu
halibut = le flétan
monkfish = la lotte
seabass = le bar also known as loup de mer