Herbed Sea Bass with Saffron Tomato Jus

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Herbed Sea Bass
  • 4 ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • 4 8-ounce each, sea bass fillets
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh herbs ~ thyme, rosemary, Italian parsley
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, cut to small dice

For the Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • small pinch of saffron threads
  • 15-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice (pureed w/ immersion blender)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted ground fennel seed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Several ingredients to this dish need to be prepared ahead of time, so plan accordingly.

Remove the large fronds from the fennel bulb and discard. Cut the bulb in half, directly through the core. Lightly coat in olive oil and place on a greased baking sheet, with the cut side down.

Toss the whole cloves of garlic in olive oil and place on the baking sheet.

Toss the fingerling potatoes in olive oil and place on another section of the same baking sheet.

Bake the fennel, garlic and potatoes in a pre-heated 350 F oven for approximately 45 – 60 minutes, until the fennel and garlic are fork tender and lightly caramelized, and the potatoes are fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the sauce:
Combine the vegetable broth with the brandy, orange zest and saffron. Add in the tomatoes and fennel seed. Heat over medium-high flame until it reaches a strong boil. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer 15 – 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Cut the fennel into medium dice, cut the garlic cloves in half and cut the potatoes into ½” rounds. Combine all the prepared ingredients in a large bowl with the olives, capers and roasted red peppers. Toss with a little bit of olive oil.

Drizzle the sea bass with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the fresh herbs. Place the seasoned fish in a large roasting pan. Add in the prepared vegetables and sauce. Bake in the 350 F. oven for 12 – 15 minutes until the fish is cooked through.