This is an impressive dish to serve if you are entertaining. Sea bass is a fairly robust fish, so it takes spices well. Here, it is complemented beautifully by the creamy cauliflower purée and spiced lentils. Place the fish whole in the centre of the table and let everyone help themselves.
Serves 6 775 calories per serving
For the roasted cauliflower purée 1.35kg cauliflower, stalk and leaves removed
2tbs olive oil
250ml whipping cream
250ml semi-skimmed milk
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sea bass 4 garlic cloves, grated
5cm piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
2tsp ground turmeric
2tsp ground cumin
2 handfuls of coriander leaves
2tbs olive oil
120g natural yogurt (0% fat)
2 sea bass, about 700g each, gutted and cleaned
For the spiced lentils 1tbs vegetable oil
1 onion, finely diced
1tsp medium Madras curry powder
2 x 250g packs cooked Puy lentils
200ml vegetable stock
120g baby spinach
To finish A handful of coriander leaves, torn
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line two large baking trays with baking parchment.
For the cauliflower purée, cut the cauliflower into florets and spread them out on one lined baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown, tossing halfway through.
Meanwhile, for the marinade, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl, adding some salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, score the fish on both sides on an angle, making three slashes on each side. Lay the fish on the other baking tray. Spread the marinade evenly all over the fish and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
To make the cauliflower purée, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the roasted cauliflower florets and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned. Pour in the cream and milk and simmer for 7-10 minutes until reduced and thickened. Tip the contents of the pan into a blender and blitz until smooth. Return the purée to the pan; keep warm.
For the spiced lentils, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 7-10 minutes, until softened.
Meanwhile, place the tray of fish on the top shelf of the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
Stir the curry powder into the softened onion and cook for 30 seconds, then add the lentils. Pour in the vegetable stock and simmer for five minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir through the spinach and cook for two minutes, until it has wilted.
Once the fish is cooked, remove from the oven and run a cook's blowtorch over the skin to crisp it. Leave to rest for a few minutes. Serve the fish on a platter, scattered with the coriander and with the cauliflower purée and spiced lentils in warmed bowls alongside.
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