Pete has been line-catching some big bass this week and we wanted to give you the opportunity of getting hold of one if you were planning a serious dinner party with one of the tastiest local fish availalble. The line-caught bass are around 2-3 kg in weight, feeding 4 – 6 people at least with the price at £16/kg which is the same price that the restaurants are buying them.
Large line-caught bass are sold to restaurants at a premium for several reasons. Line caught fish are in perfect condition, handled individually and put straight into ice. The large fish are better eating as they retain moisture and succulence far better. It’s also great to cook on the bone as it enhances the flavour and keeps moist, and filleting is simpler with a larger bass.
Sea Bass Baked with Fennel and White Wine
- 1 x 2kg bass (serves 4)
- 1 tbsp (4½ oz) fennel seed, lightly crushed
- Handful of fennel fronds, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- 3 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) dry white wine
Lay onions and garlic in a roasting pan large enough to hold the fish. Add the olive oil, bay leaves and fennel seeds. Add the fish and coat in the oil, then sprinkle with salt and fennel fronds (including the stomach cavity). Then arrange the sliced lemon over the fish, add the white wine into the pan and cook for 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven 240°C (475°F, gas mark 9) basting the fish with the juices as you go.