Roast Fennel Herb Sea Bass with Pan-fried Greens by Carina Contini 

Sea bass is always popular at Contini George Street. Line-caught is by far the best and – chargrilled very simply – might even be better than a haddie! To go with the bass, sometimes we pan-fry baby cherry tomatoes with some taggiasche olives and fresh basil, or blanch some beetroot with loads of fresh herbs and a few capers. At home I’ll cook it with a very simple combination of spinach, courgettes, a little garlic and a squeeze of lemon.

Cook with the seasons and use super-fresh ingredients. With a light touch, it’s very difficult to combine flavours that don’t work together.

And, in the classic words of Wil Andersen, the John Wayne character in The Cowboys, “Slap some bacon on a biscuit and let’s go!” Good cooking doesn’t have to take you all day.

Carina Contini is Owner of Contini George Street, Edinburgh; Cannonball Restaurant & Bar, Castlehill, Edinburgh; and The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant – located at the gardens entrance of the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.

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Serves one, however the recipe is easily multiplied. 

For the roast sea bass:
One sea bass fillet per person
Olive oil 
Broken fronds of fennel
Salt for seasoning

For the quick pan-fried greens:
Half a courgette
100g fresh, washed spinach leaves
1 small clove of garlic
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
A few capers if you fancy an extra little zing! (optional)

For the roast sea bass:
1 Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
2 Add a little oil to a hot grill pan or heavy-based frying pan
3 Add the fish, skin side down
4 Fry for a few minutes until skin is coloured
5 Transfer to a large, flat baking tray
6 Season with the salt, fennel and a drizzle of olive oil and place in the oven, skin-side down until cooked. This should only take 10 minutes. 

For the quick pan-fried greens:
1 Wait until the very last minute before cooking the vegetables. Choose a frying pan that’s big enough to flash fry your ingredients. 
2 Start by adding a little oil to the pan, then add the ingredient that will need cooked longest first.
3 With the heat of the pan quite high, slowly add the other ingredients and gently move the pan to stop anything sticking or burning.
4 The garlic needs very little cooking, so add this near the end to give a very light aroma that won’t overpower the other ingredients. 
5 The aim is to keep the crunch of the vegetables, and the extra ingredients just give a background of texture and taste.

In association with Taste Communications.