Monday, 27 July 2009

More Gingers, Vicar?: Sea Bass with Aubergine Caviar

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The idea behind this vibrant main course was to prepare something which was not too heavy and would leave plenty of room for dessert. There's nothing worse than a 3 course meal where you get to the end of the main and have no room for pudding - where's the fun in that?!

Our Nom Nom Nom 2009 main course of Pan-Fried Sea Bass with Aubergine Caviar was based on a Gordon Ramsay recipe we'd both seen in a magazine a couple of years ago. The ingredients and vivid colours just shout "summer"!


4 fillets of line caught sea bass

Aubergine Caviar:

2 large aubergines
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves
good olive oil
salt & pepper
2 tomatoes (skinned and deseeded)
1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp pepper sauce
fresh basil leaves

Pepper Sauce:

1 red pepper
1 yellow or orange pepper
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
200ml vegetable stock


Start by preparing the aubergines. Slice the aubergines in half lengthways and place them into a roasting tin, cut side up. Score some holes in the aubergine flesh and stuff with slices of garlic and rosemary. Drizzle generously with olive oil and season. Roast in the oven for at least 45 (until golden brown and cooked) at 180C.

To make the pepper sauce, saute the peppers, shallots, garlic and herbs in about 100ml olive oil for 10 minutes or until softened. De glaze the pan by pouring in the white wine vinegar and letting it evaporate which will only take a minute at most. Add the stock and simmer for about 10 minutes until the stock has reduced.

Remove the cloves of garlic from the pepper sauce and liquidise the sauce until smooth. To get a really smooth sauce, pass it through a sieve.

Next you will need to finish the aubergine caviar. Remove the garlic and rosemary from the aubergines and scrape the flesh out with a spoon. Chop the flesh and add to a bowl with the chopped tomato flesh, balsamic vinegar, pepper sauce and basil. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.

Wash the sea bass fillets and score the skin diagonally. Season both sides. Heat a pan and then drizzle a little olive oil on the sea bass skin. Add each fillet to the pan skin side down and hold each one down with your fingers or the back of a fish slice for about 30 seconds. Cook for around 2 - 3 minutes on each side and then stand to one side.

Whilst you are cooking the fish you may want to reheat the aubergine caviar and the pepper sauce.

To serve, place a couple of large spoonfuls of the caviar in the centre of each plate, place the fillets of sea bass on top of the caviar and drizzle the pepper sauce around the plate. We served this with buttered spinach, but you could use your favourite seasonal vegetable.


  1. Great recipe, I must try this!

    Love your blog!

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous gorgeous! A combination of two of my favourite foods. Can't wait to give this a go

  3. It sort of looks too bright to be edible in a way doesn't it?! Let me know if you both enjoy it if you ever find time to make it...