Sea bass with tomato chickpea sauce and roasted fennel

Bring a flavour of the Alena restaurant at The Norman Hotel to your table

  • place PRE
  • place COOK
  • place SERVES 4
  • printicon

Omer and Daniel are the chefs at Alena restaurant at The Norman Hotel, Tel Aviv

  • The night before you want to cook this dish put the dried chickpeas in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave overnight.
  • The next day, fill a saucepan with cold water together with the parsley, garlic, red chili and olive oil and cook until the chickpeas are soft (1-2 hours, depending on the chickpeas). Do not add any salt to the water until the chickpeas are soft.
  • For the fennel: Heat the oven to 180°c, place the fennel wedges on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and some dried chili flakes, the smashed garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Add 4 tbsp of water to the tray, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, and return to the oven and cook until they turn golden (approx 2 mins)
  • For the sauce: In a saucepan, gently heat the olive oil and sliced garlic, when the garlic starts to turn translucent, add the basil and tomatoes. Season with salt and chili flakes. Add 240ml water and the cooked & drained chickpeas. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and incorporated and the sauce begins to look reddish.
  • Preparing the fish:
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on the flesh. In a heavy based frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium to high heat and when it is hot, place the fish in the pan, skin side down, you should hear a little sizzle.
  • When the fish is ¾ of the way cooked on the skin side, carefully turn the fillet over. The skin should be crisp. When cooked, remove, set aside in a warm place.
  • To serve: Divide the chickpea sauce equally over 4 deep rimmed plates. Top with a sea bass fillet on each plate (flesh side down) then add 2 pieces of grilled fennel on each plate and finish with the leafy part of the fennel and a little extra olive oil.

4 sea bass fillets (approx. 180g each)

2 tbsp olive oil

For the chickpeas:

150g dried chickpeas

A few parsley stalks

5 garlic cloves

1 red chilli

120ml olive oil

For the fennel:

2 fennel bulbs (cut into 8 wedges), keep the fennel herb at the top and set aside

Dried chilli flakes

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Olive oil

For the sauce:

100ml olive oil

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

5 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

A handful of basil leaves

Salt & dried chili to taste

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive