Sea Bass on Nicoise New Potatoes

Spring and early summer is the best time of the year for new potatoes. Jersey royal new potatoes have to be one of the best varieties in the world. In this recipe they are simply boiled and crushed with some nicoise inspired ingredients including olives and tomatoes to complement the sea bass.

Wine Recommendation: A Seabass deserves a great wine such as a Sancerre, which will bring out the delicate flavours of the fish. See The Mixed Case for details

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Sea Bass

  • 6 sea bass fillets (150-175g each) skin on
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nicoise Potatoes

  • 600g new potatoes (preferable jersey royal)
  • 75g black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp capers roughly chopped
  • 6 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
  • 2 plum or vine ripened tomato, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp tarragon leaves
  • 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil leaves, shredded
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

Sauce

  • 1 plum or vine ripened tomato, finely diced
  • 50g black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil leaves, shredded
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

To Serve

  • 1/4 tomato, diced
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 100g rocket leaves

Method

  1. Potatoes: Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the potatoes. Cook the potatoes for 12-15 minutes (dependent on their size) until they are tender (a small knife should go through the centre of a potato easily). Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain the water from the pan.
  2. Crushed the potatoes roughly with the back of a fork until you have a rough mash. Add all the remaining ingredients and distribute them through out the potatoes with the fork. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Set the potatoes aside until ready to serve.
  3. Sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
  4. Sea Bass: Place a little olive oil in a large frying pan so that it has an even but thin coating of oil. Place the pan over a moderate-high heat. Slice the sea bass fillets in half and season them with a little salt and pepper. Place the fillets skin side down in the hot oil and reduce the heat slightly. Cook the fillets for 3 minutes on the skin side and 2 minutes on the flesh side (the skin should be slightly crisp and the edges golden brown). Remove the fish from the heat and serve or keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. To Serve: Use an egg ring poacher or round pastry cutter placed in the centre of each plate to shape the salad (optional). Place a little rocket in the ring or pastry cutter or just place a small handful on the centre of each plate. Then fill the rest of the rings or pastry cutter with the potatoes nicoise so that it is tightly packed or simply distribute the potatoes on the rocket evenly. Remove the rings from the plate (if using) and place two half fillets on each serving of potato so that one slice is on top of the other. Garnish the fish with a little diced tomato and a basil leaf. Spoon the sauce around each plate. Serve