Sea Bream with a Sauce Vierge recipe, brought to you by MiNDFOOD.
Serves 4 as a starter
olive oil cooking spray
4 baby fennel bulbs
1 x 450g gilt-head bream, cleaned, trimmed
8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 thin spring onions, trimmed, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ medium-hot red chilli, deseeded, thinly sliced
6 mint leaves, finely shredded
1 Lightly grease a baking tray with olive oil cooking spray. Preheat grill to high. Trim fennel down to 15cm and halve lengthways. Cook in a pan of boiling, lightly salted water for 1½ minutes or until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain well on kitchen paper. Brush fish on both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2 Place on prepared tray. Cook under grill for 10 minutes, turning halfway during cooking. Meanwhile, place oil, lemon juice, tomatoes, spring onions, garlic, chilli, ½ tsp salt and 10 turns of the black pepper mill into a small saucepan. Set aside. Transfer fish to a chopping board. Using a small, sharp knife, cut through the skin all around the outside edge of the fish, across the base of the tail and behind the gills, and pull away. Run knife down the length of the fish between the two top fillets, and ease them apart and away from the underlying bones. Slide a palette knife under each of the fillets in turn and carefully lift them away. Set fillets aside on a warmed plate. Lift up the backbone of the fish by the tail and carefully ease it away from the bottom fillets, taking the head with it. Discard. Slice down the centre of the bottom fillets and clean away any bones and skin from the outside edges. Lift the bottom fillets away from the skin and add them to the plate.
3 Add fennel to sauce vierge and cook over low heat for 1 minute. Remove fennel and overlap 2 pieces in the centre of each serving plate. Place one fish fillet on top. Stir mint into remaining sauce. Spoon sauce over the and fennel and serve.