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Wine Suggestion
A Provençal white, such as Cassis Clos Sainte-Madeleine


Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 sea bass fillets, each weighing 6 ounces, cut from a 6 pound fish
  • 2 tomatoes, olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 small sprig thyme
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper

Bouillabaisse Sauce

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1/2 the white portion of a leek
  • 3 ounces fennel bulb
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, 3 sprigs thyme
  • 6 sprigs dried fennel
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup fish stock

Mediterranean Vegetable Salsa

  • 2 Tablespoons raisins
  • 2 Tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 cup eggplant, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon each, capers, basil and parsley

Prepare a tomato confit: preheat the oven on its very lowest setting. Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds, then pass them immediately under cold, running water. Peel, cut into quarters and deseed. Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet or ovenproof dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Peel and crush the garlic clove and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Tear off the thyme leaves and sprinkle them over the tomatoes. Roast in the oven for 2 hours.

Prepare the bouillabaisse sauce: peel and mince the onion. Dice the leek and fennel. Peel and mince the garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over a high heat. Fry the onion, leek, fennel and garlic until golden. Add the saffron, crumbled thyme and dried fennel. Add the wine, scraping the base of the pan with a spatula, and cook until the wine has completely evaporated. Add the fish stock and reduce by two thirds. Add the rest of the oil in a steady stream, while stirring to create a smooth emulsion. Season and leave to stand at room temperature.

Prepare the vegetable salsa: soak the raisins in the vinegar. Dice the onion, zucchini and eggplant and lightly brown each vegetable separately in a nonstick skillet. Mix the vegetables with the minced garlic, raisins, pine nuts, capers, shredded basil and coarsely chopped parsley.

Season the sea bass fillets. Make diagonal incisions at regular intervals along the skin side. Seal the fish, skin side downwards for 5 minutes over a medium heat in a nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook for 1 minute on the other side.

Deep fry the parsley leaves at 350F. Briefly fry the vegetable salsa in a little olive oil over a very high heat Divide the salsa between the 4 plates and arrange the fish on top. Garnish each plate with 2 pieces of tomato confit and fried parsley. Surround with bouillabaisse sauce. Serve immediately.

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