Roasted sea bass with cockles, a fennel and vanilla salad and a fennel and dill purée recipe

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I love this beautifully simple dish. It showcases Scotland’s fantastic fish and seafood. To capture the true magic of this dish you will need the freshest line caught wild sea bass and beautifully fresh plump cockles.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


Sea Bass and Cockles
  • 1 kg wild line caught sea bass (scaled and filleted into 4 portions) can be substituted for sea bream
  • 15 cockles
  • 50 g Sauternes sweet wine
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
Fennel and Vanilla Salad
  • ½ bulb of fennel
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 25 ml grapeseed oil
Fennel and Dill Puree
  • ½ bulb of fennel finely sliced
  • 150 g water
  • 8 g Pernod
  • 25 ml double cream
  • Chopped dill
How to Make It
    Fennel and Vanilla Salad
  1. Vanilla oil marinate the vanilla pods in grapeseed oil and leave in a warm place for 24 hours. 30 minutes before serving, slice the fennel on a mandolin and season with salt, lemon and the vanilla oil.
  2. Leave to soften in a warm place for 20 minutes. Save some vanilla oil to glaze the fish just before serving the dish.
  3. Fennel and Dill Puree
  4. Slice the fennel finely with a mandolin, place in a pan with the water and Pernod, boil until soft (approximately 15 minutes) and strain keep this cooking liquid.
  5. Put the softened fennel and double cream into a food blender and blend while gradually adding the cooking liquid until a smooth purée is produced. Finally, add the dill.
  6. Sea Bass and Cockles
  7. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan, sear the fillets of sea bass and season with salt and a squeeze of lemon. Finish with a knob of butter and glaze with vanilla oil.
  8. Place the cockles and Sauternes in a hot pan and cook until the clams open (approximately 1 minute) at which point season with salt and lemon.
  9. To Serve
  10. Place the fennel and vanilla salad in a small heap slightly off centre on the plate. Add the sea bass on top (skin side up).
  11. For the tear drop of fennel and dill purée, put a spoonful of purée onto the plate and drag the back of a spoon through the spoonful.
  12. Dress the dish with the surf clams, glaze the top of the sea bass with vanilla oil and drizzle a little vanilla oil over the plate.

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