Grilled sea bass darns with a roasted tomato tapenade

This dish uses meaty sea bass steaks or darns cut across the bone and is served with a robust roasted tomato tapenade all cooked on the BBQ adding subtle smokey notes across the dish.
Grilled sea bass darns with a roasted tomato tapenade

Instructions

Cooking Preparation

Preheat a bbq with a lid to 200 degrees.

For the tapenade I use the standard grill grates as this element of the dish is cooked in a small baking tray.

For the fish I use a cast iron plancha plate which provides a hot flat surface to cook the fish on. Remove the fish from the fridge about half an hour before cooking.

Tapenade

Place the whole tomatoes, chopped olives, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar into a small baking tray and combine. Place the tray onto the BBQ and close the lid. Check after 10-15 minutes and stir ensuring the olives don’t stick the base of the tray. Roast for a further 10 minutes with the lid down or until the tomatoes soften and release their juices. Remove the tray from the bbq and set aside to cool a little.

Lift out the tomatoes out of the tray onto a board and chop evenly, combine the chopped tomatoes and the remaining contents of the tray including all the juices into a bowl with the freshly chopped herbs. Stir gently to fully combine.

Fish

Just before cooking place a thin coating of oil across the cast iron surface and on all sides of the fish. Season the fish with salt and pepper.

Place the fish darns flesh side down onto your bbq cast iron plancha or pan on the bbq. Press down with the flat of a fish slice to give the fish an even contact with the hot surface and close the lid.

Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes before lifting the lid to check. Once cooked the fish will turn an opaque white colour instead of the more translucent appearance as when raw, you will see this along the edges of the fish and start to see crisp edges of the skin.

Use a fish slice to lift the fish and turn onto the other flesh side. Close the lid of the bbq and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Turn again onto the skin for a further minute on each side to crisp all over. If you wish to check the internal temperature use an instant read thermometer which should read above 62 degrees in the thickest part of the fish.

Remove from the bbq using the fish slice and serve immediately.

Serve with a large spoonful of the tapenade, fresh warm crusty bread and a crisp green salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 large (2-3 kg) whole line caught wild sea bass cut into 2” steaks across the bone (darns)
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Tapenade
  • 500g of cherry tomatoes or small plum tomatoes like san marzano
  • 200g Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves of chopped/crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1tsp of finely chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and basil
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