If you try this recipe, you’re in for a treat! My dad and I prepared it for Mothers’ Day yesterday, and it was phenomenal. Oh, it was soooo good! The fish had this lovely golden crust on it from searing it at high heat. The salsa was a riot of color and full of zest. I’m sure I’ll dream about it for a few days. Failing that, I’m guaranteed to drool during my waking hours.
The recipe was originally written for swordfish, but since we’re all sea bass fiends, my dad substituted. At $20 per pound, sea bass is a bit outside my personal budget (and so is swordfish, for that matter), but I plan to prepare this dish with chicken breasts sometime very soon. I also think that the salsa would make a superb topping for bruscetta, although, of course, I’ll probably never find out for sure because of my gluten allergy.
(By the way, my sincere apologies for the lack of photographs. We did take some, but I am having trouble loading them onto my blog. I think I need to buy an upgrade or something. Don’t worry. I’ll post pictures soon.)
Sicilian Sea Bass
(Adapted from a recipe in one of the Williams-Sonoma cookbooks)
2 pounds sea bass (or chicken breasts)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon pepper or freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped pitted Sicilian or other cured black olives
2 cups seeded chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
6 garlic cloves, minced (I like them large!)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (preferably a really nice, fruity one)
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt (may be unnecessary due to the salt in the olives)
Preheat grill on high heat. Coat fish with olive oil.
Mix together rub ingredients and sprinkle generously on all sides of the fish. Pat gently into the flesh.
Mix all salsa ingredients together in a bowl and leave out at room temperature for the flavors to meld. Be sure not to salt the salsa before tasting it, since the olives already be salty enough. Even though it will just about kill you not to do it, don’t eat the whole bowl of salsa during this step. Think of your fellow diners.
Once the grill is thoroughly hot, oil the grill rack and add the fish. Turn only once, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes on each side (5 to 7 minutes for chicken breasts), or until done.
Serve immediately with the salsa on the side.