Course 3: Baked White Sea Bass with Chive Bread Crumbs

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Delicate olive oils, like Arbequina, go very well with fish. In choosing the ingredients to complement the fish, I wanted to avoid using overpowering flavors that would drown out the oil. And since we were having four courses, I also wanted to do something light and simple for this course. I called ahead to my local fish market,
El Pescador in La Jolla, and asked what good white fish they were carrying: he recommended white sea bass from Mexico. I checked the Monterey Aquarium’s Seafood Watch to make sure it was a good choice. It was a go!

Post 4 in a series of 5. Click here to see the premise of the 4-course
evoo-inspired meal.

Baked White Sea Bass with Chive Bread Crumbs
Serves 4

Handful of chives (0.7 oz)
4-5 anchovy filets
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup Olive Press Arbequina EVOO, plus more for finishing
4 sea bass filets, 6-8 oz each, 1.5″ thick
1/2 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
8 slices crusty bread
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, prepare the fish topping. Add the chives, anchovy, garlic, and black pepper and pulse to combine. Wipe down the edges with a spatula. With the motor running, add the olive oil slowly, about 15 seconds. Add more olive oil if the sauce seems too thick, but you don’t want it to be runny. Transfer to a bowl. (This can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill.) Add the Panko to the chive sauce and mix to combine.

Rub the filets lightly with olive oil and place in a baking pan. Gently divide the Panko-chive mixture among the 4 filets, spreading it on the top of each. Bake the filets for 15-20 minutes or until just cooked through (don’t overcook).

While the fish is cooking, toast the bread (this can be done in a toaster, in the oven, or on a grill). Place them all on a plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.


When the fish is cooked, divide the filets onto 4 plates and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with lemon wedge and 2 pieces of toasted olive oil bread.

Cook’s notes:

  • Anchovies preserved in salt are the best in terms of flavor.
  • If sea bass is not available, use another white fish. However, adjust cooking time if filets are thinner.
  • Read more about choosing sustainable fish.


Mar. 01 2010 |
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