Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Pan-fried sea bass with fennel pesto and tomato salsa

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites


  1. Using a sharp knife, trim the sea bass fillets into a square shape, then cut into the skin side to lightly score.

  2. Rub the fillets with olive oil and season with salt and a pinch of white pepper and ground coriander.

  3. Heat a frying pan until hot and add the sea bass, skin-side down. Fry for three minutes, then turn and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

  4. For the fennel pesto, place the fennel into a food processor and blend to a fine purée.

  5. Add the dill, pine nuts, ground almonds and parmesan and pulse to combine.

  6. Add the olive oil and blend to a porridge-like consistency. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  7. For the tomato salsa, place the tomatoes into a bowl and add the lemon juice, sesame oil, Tabasco sauce and coriander leaves. Stir gently to combine.

  8. To serve, place a spoonful of fennel pesto into the centre of each plate. Place a sea bass fillet on top of each and spoon the salsa around. Garnish with a few pea shoots and serve.


For the sea bass

  • 4 x 150g/5oz sea bass fillets
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pinch freshly ground white pepper
  • pinch ground coriander

For the fennel pesto

  • 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 50g/2oz pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 50g/2oz parmesan, freshly grated
  • 100ml/3½fl oz olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tomato salsa

  • 150g/5oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 punnet pea shoots

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Pan-fried sea bass with fennel pesto and tomato salsa

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