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Grilled Sea Bass Romesco

Grilled, Herbed Chilean Sea Bass with Romesco

This Romesco-esque sauce is a take on the pungent Spanish version which includes garlic (which we don't eat) and almonds. My version includes pistachio paste and culinary lavender buds for a touch of Provence.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4 people


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.


* Chilean sea bass is technically not a Bass but a cold-water fish called the Patagonian toothfish. A good substitute is sablefish, also known as black cod (lieu noir).
Fish Names Translated into French:
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
Keyword Peppers, Seafood Recipes, Tomatoes
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