Roasted Sea Bass with Fennel Tomato Salsa

09. November 2006 Fish, Vegetables + Salads 0

I schlepped in the pouring rain to stop by the farmers market and order my turkey for Thanksgiving. After I put my name down for an 11-pound bird, I noticed the Blue Moon Fish tent. There were a few people standing in front waiting to be helped so I squeezed my way in to see what the commotion was all about. They were giving away fish heads and bones for stock. I waited for my turn and got my own but I also ended up buying a $6 whole sea bass. Blue Moon hails from Mattituck, New York and they specialize in wild-caught fish. But I didn’t even stay long enough to ask what kind of sea bass it was. The Dr. said it would be a black sea bass because that’s the type most often caught in the east coast.

I could only think of roasting it so I also bought a couple of fennel bulbs and bunches of herbs before I walked to the subway to go straight to work. I was juggling to hold my umbrella, my purse and the goods in my half-wet tote bag. At dinner time, I opened a bottle of Chardonnay from Lamoreaux and roasted the fish I stuffed with lemon, onions garlic and rosemary. While it was cooking, I made a bowl of salad. The Dr. stopped by after a long day in the hospital. He confirmed it was indeed a black sea bass and also gave me a nod for a wonderful rainy night meal.

1 whole black sea bass, scaled and cleaned with head and tail intact
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin rings
1/2 lemon, cut into thin rounds
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
salt, pepper, olive oil

For the fennel tomato salsa:
1 fennel bulb, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, diced and seeded
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 red onion, roughly chopped
a handful basil leaves, torn
a handful mint leaves, torn
red wine vinegar
salt, pepper, olive oil

1. Prepare the salsa. In a small heated skillet, let the fennel sweat to soften them. Toss for a couple of minutes and let cool. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix well. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
2. Preheat oven to 400º. Rinse the fish under cold running water to make sure the cavity is clean of any entrails and pat dry with a paper towel. Stuff the cavity with the onion rings, lemon rounds, garlic and some of the rosemary sprigs. Put some in the head as well. Make small slits on the body to insert more garlic.
3. Place the fish on a bed of rosemary branches set in a large roasting pan. Rub the fish with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the fish until completely cooked through, about 40 minutes. Transfer the fish to a large platter and serve with the salsa.

Related post/s:
Fresh fish from Blue Moon