Matthew Tomkinson uses sea bass as the centrepiece to a lavish salad, serving with both globe and Jerusalem artichokes and a red wine sauce. Sea bass fillet is growing in popularity - best to use line-caught sea bass or any sea bass that you can trace to source.
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For the red wine sauce, place a saucepan over a medium heat. Add a small drizzle of vegetable oil and sweat the shallots, leek, garlic, rosemary and star anise until soft with no colour
1/2 shallot, chopped
1/4 leek, finely chopped
1/2 bulb of garlic
1/4 bunch of rosemary
2 star anise
Add the fish trimmings and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add the red wine, bring to the boil and cook until the pan is almost dry
50g of fish trimmings
200ml of red wine, fruity
Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer and reduce for about 1 hour until it resembles a thin gravy and has a rich flavour. Pass through a fine strainer lined with muslin cloth and set aside
200ml of dark chicken stock
For the jerusalem artichoke purée, medium dice the peeled artichokes and place in a saucepan. Cover with water, season with salt, bring to a gentle boil and cook until tender This will take 15-25 minutes, depending on the consistency of the artichokes
10 Jerusalem artichokes, large, peeled
Drain and transfer to a food processor. Blend and add enough of the cream to form a smooth, thin purée. Set aside and keep warm
100ml of double cream
Cut the crust off the bread and discard. Cut the white into 1cm cubes and fry in olive oil until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper, season with salt and set aside
2 slices of bread
Place a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add a small drizzle of vegetable oil to the pan and once hot, gently place the sea bass fillets in 2 at a time, skin side down. Use a fish slice or spatula to apply a firm amount of pressure to the fish to keep the skin flat to the surface of the pan
4 sea bass fillets, large
Cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy. Use the fish slice to slide under the skin and turn over to cook on the opposite side for 2-3 more minutes. Repeat with the other 2 fillets, remove from the pan, season with salt and pepper and place in a warm spot to rest and finish cooking
Cut the globe artichoke hearts into 6 small wedges and add to pan which contained the fish, cook until golden. Remove and set aside with the fish to keep warm
2 globe artichokes, cooked hearts only
Place 3 pieces of artichoke and 3 pieces of dried tomato in a circle around the outside of 4 hot plates. Sprinkle over a few croutons and some of the watercress
2 2/3 handfuls of sun-dried tomatoes
5 1/3 handfuls of watercress
Place some of the hot artichoke purée in the middle and top with the fish. Squeeze some of the lemon over the plate and drizzle with olive oil
Tear the Parma ham into pieces and dot around the plates to garnish. Finish with a spoon of the red wine sauce and serve immediately
4 slices of Parma ham
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