Recipe: Sea Bass, Tahini and Orange
White fish and tahini are combined regularly in Middle-Eastern cookery. I use blood orange when in season, as it is so beautiful, but it can be substituted for standard oranges. The pomegranate seeds replace the burst of colour from the blood orange. You can sprinkle torn basil leaves over the plate, or drizzle the plate with basil oil - made by gently heating basil in light olive oil and blitzing in a blender.
● 250ml tahini paste
● 1 clove garlic, minced
● 1 lemon, juiced
● 250ml water
● 2 tbsp olive oil
● 6 seabass fillets, trimmed and pin-boned - a fishmonger will do this)
● ½ bunch basil, torn
● 1 sharon fruit, diced
● 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
● 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
● 2 blood oranges, peeled and segmented (a standard orange will do)
● 2 tsp sumac (spice)
● Make the dressing by blending the tahini with the garlic, lemon juice, and some of the water. The tahini will thicken initially into a coarse paste, but will eventually turn into a thickened sauce consistency (about the same as Greek yoghurt) if you gradually add sufficient water.
● Place the seabass fillets skin side down into a cold non-stick frying pan drizzled with olive oil and place on the stove on a med-high heat. (NB: the fish goes into a cold rather than pre-heated pan to stop it curling up and shrinking). Cook skin-side down until the skin has crisped up (4-5 minutes) before turning it over and finishing on the flesh side for a further minute or two.
● While the fish is cooking, spoon a large dollop of tahini onto each plate. Sprinkle the plate with torn basil leaves, sharon fruit, pomegranate, pine nuts and orange as well a few pinches of sumac.
● Remove fish from the pan and transfer directly onto the plate.
● Serve with a side of griddled flat bread or pita, or a leaf salad.
Josh Katz is head chef at Made In Camden www.madeincamden.com