Ingredients to serve 6
1 whole sea bass, about 2kg,
scaled and boned
200g celeriac, peeled
200g fennel, trimmed and outer layer removed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin polive oil, to finish
I love to serve this sea bass simply with baby potatoes tossed in butter and parsley. Heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5 and put a large baking tray (one that will hold the whole fish) inside to heat up. Check the fish for pin bones, removing any with kitchen tweezers. Rinse the fish and pat dry.
Using a mandoline or swivel vegetable peeler, finely slice the celeriac and fennel. Crush the coriander seeds, using a pestle and mortar. Slice the limes as thinly as possible; you want at least 15 slices.
Lay a large sheet of greaseproof paper on your work surface; it needs to be big enough to wrap around the fish. Drizzle the paper with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little of the crushed coriander. Arrange a thin layer of celeriac over the middle of the paper, then add a layer of fennel slices. Lay 5 lime slices on top.
Score the fish gently with a sharp knife on both sides. Season the fish cavity with salt, pepper and some crushed coriander, then place 5 lime slices inside. Place the fish on the bed of celeriac and fennel and season lightly. Lay the remaining lime slices on top of the sea bass. Scatter the remaining fennel slices over the fish, then the rest of the celeriac. Season lightly with salt, pepper and crushed coriander.
Now fold up the sides of the greaseproof paper and fold the edges together to enclose the fish; twist the ends to secure. Place on the hot oven tray and cook in the oven for 13–15 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over and cook for a further 13–15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before opening up the paper (as shown overleaf). Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil to serve.
Taken from ‘Monica’s Kitchen’ by Monica Galetti (Quadrille, £20).Photograph by Yuki Sugiura