Poached sea bass on a braised tomato and onion purée with white balsamico sauce and dried olives

11 September 2006
Poached sea bass on a braised tomato and onion purée with white balsamico sauce and dried olives

(Serves four)
For the fish 200g shallots, diced
50ml olive oil
50g butter
50g parsley, chopped
50g chives, chopped
50g basil
50g tarragon
Salt and pepper
4 x 80g sea bass fillets

For the tomato and onion purée 500g white onions, sliced
100ml olive oil
Garlic, salt and pepper
1kg tomatoes, skinned and sliced

For the dried olives 100g olives, black
100g olives, green
50ml olive oil
Garlic, salt and pepper

For the white balsamic sauce 200ml fish stock
2 shallots, sliced
50ml Noilly Prat
50ml white wine
200g butter
White balsamic vinegar, to taste
Salt and pepper

For the fish, braise shallots in olive oil and butter until soft. Cool, then add chopped herbs. Season to taste. Incise the fillets and fill with the shallots and herb stuffing. Wrap in a plastic film. Steam for six minutes.

For the tomato and onion purée, braise white onions slowly in olive oil with garlic until a good colour. Add the tomatoes. Season if necessary. Cook in oven at 120°C for about one hour.

For the dried olives, mix all ingredients. Put on a tray and leave for 24 hours in the oven or on a hotplate at 60°C.

For the white balsamic sauce, reduce stock with shallots, Noilly Prat and white wine to 200ml. Add butter and blend with a Bamix or similar blender. Adjust taste with white balsamic vinegar. Season.

Wine notes This piece of stunning fresh fish with rustic undertones in the garnishes (which included a slice of pata negra) had powerful flavours, so presented an ideal opportunity to match with an aged Bairrada Reserva from Casa de Saima, 1996.

This particular wine is a blend of Bical, Maria Gomes and Cercial with a touch of Chardonnay, and aged on its lees for 12 months in American oak. This provides it with good acidity and a slightly honeyed aroma.

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