Sea Bass with Summer Herbs
This is a simple, yet very elegant way of preparing and serving a summer fish dish.
- 1 whole sea bass, about 1.3–1.8kg, scaled and gutted
- 100 ml olive oil
- 3 large limes
- 3 tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as marjoram, parsley, basil, dill or oregano, plus a few whole sprigs to garnish
- freshly ground salt and black pepper
Wash the fish thoroughly under cold running water, especially the body cavity, paying attention to rubbing out any clotted blood along the backbone. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Make slashes diagonally across the fish, about 4-6 in all, on both sides. Place the fish in a roasting pan and brush lightly with some of the oil.
Grate the zest of 1 lime and squeeze the juice. Mix with the chopped herbs and press the mixture into the slashes. Don’t worry if it looks rather messy.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Cut the other 2 limes in half and nestle alongside the fish. Season everything well and drizzle over the remaining oil.
Roast the fish in the oven, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes until the flesh feels just firm when pressed. If you want to double-check that it is cooked, part some of the flesh down the backbone to see if it flakes.
Squeeze the juice from the roasted limes over the fish and serve on a platter with the pan juices trickled over, garnished with sprigs of herbs.
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