Patting fish fillets dry before searing will keep the fish from becoming tough or mushy. Lean sweet sea bass fillets are pan seared, then topped with a scoop of tomato relish and a dollop of fresh pesto. Swimming in a light tomato broth this makes a beautiful and healthy seafood meal.
If you’re in the mood for a light dinner that not only beautiful in presentation, but absolutely stunning with flavor, you’ll want to give this pan-seared sea bass recipe a try.
Fresh made pesto gives this delicate white fish a bit of excitement. And a combination of tomato paste, tomato sauce and sun-dried tomatoes make an absolutely beautiful sauce for sea bass.
Seafood is one of those meats that not everyone feels comfortable about cooking. I know I was always hesitant before I went to Culinary School. And it turns out that it’s easy as can be if you follow just a couple of rules. All fish have different levels of firmness and fat content, for this example, we’ll use sea bass, a moderate firm fleshed fish.
How to pan-sear sea bass:
- Pat the sea bass fillets dry.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, when the skillet is hot, add the oil and the butter. Cooking fish is pure clarified butter is preferred.
- When oil mixture is hot and the bubbles in the butter have subsided, add the fish.
- Cook until the fish is opaque in the center, about 5 minutes per side (depending on thickness of fillet)
- Turn and cook the fish on the other side – until opaque throughout.
- Fish is cooked through just as it starting to reach the flaking stage.
You’ll find the recipe for pan seared sea bass below, but first let’s drink a crisp Summer white wine.
A couple of weeks ago we took a little road trip through the Rocky Mountains, passing ski slopes and following raging mountain rivers to the grandeur of our Western Slope. Monuments, mesas, wild horses and wineries kept us busy with sight seeing and wine tasting for a few days.
Just look at this Colorado White blend..does it get any Summer-ier than that?
We stopped at Plum Creek, Two Rivers and Canyon Wind wineries. I’d say all three are “must visit” when you are in the Grand Junction, Colorado area. We brought home a sampling from each and have been enjoying an occasional evening bottle since returning.
The other night we were in a rare, for us, mood for a white and so uncorked a nice chilled bottle of Canyon Winds 2014 47-Ten. The 47-Ten wines are named for the elevation of our vineyard (4,710 feet above sea level). It’s one of a series of wines with altitude and attitude!
This fresh and bright blend of 49% Chardonnay, 28% Sauvignon Blanc and 23% Pinot Grigio was a perfect change of pace for a warm evening on the patio. And spot on for any Summer meal. Here’s the description from their website: “Refreshing flavors of grapefruit, cream soda, and banana yogurt balanced with a full, smooth palate and a lingering finish.” I thought it was delicious.
Canyon Wind has a beautiful area to enjoy a picnic under a large shade tree and some Colorado wine. We spent some time here.
We were somewhat surprised to find that we generally liked the Colorado wines and found them to be quite drinkable. We’ll be adding more “local vino” from time to time.
Pesto Sea Bass Recipe with Tomato Relish
I hope you give this sea bass recipe a try. And if you do, please come back and let me know how you liked it and give the recipe a star rating.
Your feedback is valuable to me for developing future recipes. And if you have a favorite recipe for sea bass let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
Pesto Sea Bass Recipe with Tomato Relish
- 1 pound Sea Bass or Halibut fillets
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- For the tomato sauce broth:
- 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tablespoon oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- For the Tomato Relish:
- 1 cup halved plum tomatoes a variety of colors
- 1/2 red onion sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil cut into thin ribbons
- For garnish:
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- parsley for garnish
- Pat the sea bass dry, season the fish with salt and pepper, set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, sun-dried tomato oil and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer 2 – 3 minutes. Thin with more broth if you’d like.
- In a small bowl, add the halved tomatoes, red onions, olive oil and fresh basil and toss.
- Have the pesto ready.
- Sear the fish in hot oil until nicely browned. Turn and continue cooking over medium temperature for 5 minutes or until just starting to flake. Or you can finish in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes.
- Coat the fish with the pesto. In shallow bowls, add a ladle of the tomato sauce. Lay the fish onto the sauce and top with the tomato relish.
- Add a sprig of parsley. Serve immediately.