Augh, I’m so behind lately. It’s called, “I don’t handle humidity so well when I run, so I’m dead by the time I get home.” You can’t call it laziness if you crash as soon as you get home because of running, right?
Anyway, the other night I stumbled upon something kinda magical. I’ve used sea bass myriad times, frequently in fish tacos. It’s a substantial, almost buttery white fish that takes on different flavors so well. It’s a good fish to grill, but I’m coming to find that it’s especially flavorful when roasted. So, that’s what I did.
I adore rustic recipes, and I consider this to be one. A simple, lemony marinade really makes the tomato and fish sing, as cliche as that reads. It’s a bright, refreshing dish, the perfect way to start the summer send-off (thank god, because seriously humidity–I am done with you; but fresh seasonal tomatoes, I shall mourn your passing when the time comes).
My husband loved this one, and it’s earned sacred status as a possible pre-race meal. (His pre-race meal, mind you. I’ve tried fish the night before a race. Um, not a good idea. Not a good idea.)
Roasted Sea Bass and Tomatoes
Notes: I prefer to use a rainbow of cherry tomatoes as it makes for a more visually appealing dish. Tomatillos, which for some reason are often confused as being part of the pepper family, are actually of the ubiquitous nightshade family. Generally called “green tomatoes” in Mexico, they are the stars of salsa verde cruda (or tomatillo salsa). Tomatillos are tangy and complement the lemon used here quite well. If you don’t have easy access to locally grown tomatillos, just sub in more cherry tomatoes.
1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
4-5 tomatillos, husked, washed, and quartered
Fresh rosemary and oregano, finely chopped
1 lb. sea bass (I use chunks since that’s what our local fishmongers have on hand)
In a large mixing bowl, stir the tomatoes, tomatillos, a few zests of the lemon, the juice of half the lemon (the other half may be refrigerated or frozen for later use), chopped fresh herbs, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle enough olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish to coat; place in oven to allow the oil to heat.
While the oil is heating, add the sea bass chunks to the tomato mixture. Cover again with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes (do not leave any longer because the acidity of the lemon can actually cook the fish, which will leave you with ceviche, which isn’t a bad thing, but we’re roasting here).
Pour the fish/tomato mixture into the heated baking dish. Roast for 25 minutes or until fish is slightly golden on top and flakes easily with a fork.
Serve with a green salad or potatoes cooked to your liking (I went with what The Joy of Cooking called pan-broiled potato shreds, but really it was just hashbrowns. Don’t try to be fancy, Joy of Cooking.)