Chilean Sea Bass Mediterranean Style

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finished fish

We recently came up with a new fish recipe that we tested on those husbands and sons who are fish adverse. And the happy response from this fish-phobic crew was a hearty thumbs up. One of the secrets of this dish is the memorably assertive sauce, a sauce that incorporates the health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet. And the fish we’ve chosen– Chilean sea bass– comes with adjectives such as mild, rich, moist, and buttery, the very adjectives you’d want to describe your fish.

The sauce can be made a day ahead and the fish takes only minutes to prepare, so this impressive looking dish is perfect to serve when friends drop by for dinner.

fish sauce cropThis lively sauce has all the health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet.

fish cookingWe first sear the fillets quickly, then pop them into the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, and lastly run them under the broiler for a crispy top.

Chilean Sea Bass Mediterranean Style
4 servings

For the Sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped fennel
One 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, juice reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
3/4 cup basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Fish
Four 4-to 6-ounce skinless Chilean sea bass fillets, or other sustainable firm white fish fillets
Organic olive oil cooking spray
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Set racks in the middle and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425° F.

For the Sauce
In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. When shimmering add the onions, the garlic, and the red pepper flakes, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fennel, and cook until the vegetables are soft and translucent, an additional 10 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium  and add the tomatoes with 1 cup of their reserved juice. Using the back of a wooden spoon, smash the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the white wine, capers, olives, basil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, while you cook the fish.

For the Fish
Pat the fillets dry with paper towels.   Coat them with the olive oil spray and season with salt and pepper.

Place a heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil, and when it shimmers add the fillets, rounded side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Carefully flip the fillets with a metal spatula and place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the fish is no longer translucent.

Turn the oven to broil and place the skillet on the upper rack.   Broil for 2 to 4 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

Arrange the fillets on individual plates, spoon on the sauce, and serve.

fish finished 2 with drop copy