We are lucky enough to spend a lot of time on the southern coast of Massachusetts, and (when we’re even luckier) we sometimes catch striped bass there. This simple summer dish is one of our favorite ways to prepare it—the subtly-flavored, big-flaked fish is perfect grilled very plainly, then nicely complemented by the restrained flavors of the tomato-cucumber salad. If you can’t get hold of striped bass, sea bass is just as delicious prepared this way.
Recipe courtesy of "Grill It!" by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, copyright 2008. Used by permission of DK Publishing. All rights reserved.
|4 striped bass fillets, 8 oz (225 g) each||1/3 cup pitted black olives|
|2 tablespoons vegetable oil||For the dressing:|
|Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper||Juice of 11/2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)|
|For the salad:||1/4 cup minced fresh basil|
|tomatoes about the size of baseballs, cored and diced large||Pinch of red pepper flakes|
|1 cucumber, peeled if desired, diced medium||1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil|
|1/2 red onion, peeled and diced small|
Build a multilevel fire in your grill. When the coals are all ignited, the flames have died down, and the temperature is medium, you’re ready to cook.
Rub the bass fillets with the vegetable oil and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Place the fillets on the hotter side of the grill and cook until they develop a crusty, dark sear on the outside and are opaque on the inside (6–8 minutes per side). If the flesh starts to become too dark, move the fillets to the cooler side of the grill and cover them with a pie plate or disposable foil pan to finish cooking. To check for doneness, poke the fish with your finger to test its firmness; if you’re unsure, make a cut in one of the fillets to be sure it is just opaque all the way through.
While the fish is cooking, put the salad ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Combine all the dressing ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl, then add the oil, whisking, and whisk until well blended. Add just enough of this dressing to moisten the salad mixture and toss until well blended and evenly coated with dressing.
To serve, divide the salad among four dinner plates and arrange a grilled fillet over each.
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