Crispy Sea Bass with Roasted Vegetables
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Crispy sea bass served over a bed of escalivada, or Catalan roasted vegetables, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.
Serves: 2-3
For the Escalivada (Roasted Vegetables):
  • 1 onion
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2-3 bell peppers (I used one red and one yellow)
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2-3 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • sea salt, to taste
For the Bass:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2-3 filets of sea bass, skin on
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • juice of ½ a lemon
For the Escalivada:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Tear off a large sheet of foil and place it on a baking sheet. Place your washed and dried vegetables on the foil, make bit of a packet so that the olive oil doesn't drip out, and rub the vegetables well with the olive oil, then sprinkle them with a few pinches of salt.
  2. Wrap the vegetables tightly in the foil, then place the packet on your baking sheet and roast for 1½ to 2 hours, until completely soft. If you don't have this much time, you can roast them unwrapped at 375 degrees F until they are completely soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, but they're much better the longer they roast.
  3. When ready, remove from the oven and let them cool. Peel the skins off of the eggplant and the peppers. Slice your vegetables into ½- to 1-inch long slices. Place the vegetables in a medium sized bowl, drizzle with a little more olive oil, splash with a few teaspoons of sherry (start with 2 teaspoons, taste, and add more to your liking) and sprinkle with some additional sea salt and/or pepper. Spoon onto plates and top with your cooked fish (recipe below), or enjoy on its own with big pieces of crusty bread and some soft cheese.
For the Bass:
  1. In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the fish with the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes on both sides, then add to the pan, skin side down. Note that as the cold fish hits the hot pan, the skin will shrink and this is what causes it to stick to your pan. Other than making sure your pan is well greased (with the butter), the best way to avoid skin stuck to the bottom of the pan is to hold the filet firmly in your hand, then gently drag the skin side down of the fish along your pan, then pull it away and drag it through the hot butter again two or three more times before finally placing it in the pan. This will heat the skin up a bit and allow it to shrink in your hand instead of in the pan. This method takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it I promise it will tremendously improve your fish cooking game!
  2. Okay, so, using the described method above, place your filets, skin side down, in your hot pan with the melted butter. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or so, until the skin looks crispy (you may need to turn the heat up on your stove, depending on how hot it gets), then flip the fish, add another tablespoon of butter to the pan, as well as a few squeezes of lemon, and baste the fish as it cooks for another 5 minutes or so, until cooked through and opaque. Plate the fish on top of your prepared vegetables, sprinkle with a little sea salt and maybe give it another squeeze of lemon juice, and serve.
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at