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Sea Bass Parcels with Fennel and Preserved Lemon

Fennel with sea bass is one of those culinary partnerships that work really well.
Serves 4

plate-sized sea bass 4, heads removed, scaled and gutted
preserved lemons 2, deseeded and finely chopped
olive oil 2 tbsp
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges to serve

for the roasted fennel:
olive oil 2 tbsp
balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp
fennel seeds 1 tsp
sugar ½ tsp
lemon juice a squeeze
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
fennel bulbs 2, trimmed, quartered and thinly sliced

1) For the roasted fennel, whisk together the oil, vinegar, fennel seeds, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the fennel, turning to coat. Spread out on a non-stick roasting tray. Place under a preheated grill about 15cm from the heat. Grill for 8–12 minutes, turning once, until slightly caramelised at the edges. Set aside and leave to cool.

2) Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas 9. Using a sharp knife, make a couple of diagonal slashes on each side of the fish.

3) Combine the preserve lemons, oil, salt and pepper. Smear the mixture over the fish, pushing it into the slashes.

4) Cut out four greaseproof paper squares about 12cm longer than the fish. Place each fish in the middle of the paper. Top with the fennel. Fold over to make a parcel, and seal the edges securely. Don't wrap the fish tightly – the parcel should be roomy enough to allow steam to circulate.

5) Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the parcels over and bake for another 5 minutes.

6) Transfer to serving plates. Let your guests open the parcels and enjoy the aromatics. Squeeze the lemon over the fish.

 

Recipe © Christine McFadden 2014

         
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