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Le Cordon Bleu News, 07/29/2014
Thick sea bass steak with wild fennel stems, confit provencal vegetables and vierge sauce
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International recipe

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About this recipe

Sea bass, summer vegetables, fennel and vierge sauce are all combined to create a recipe which is full of Mediterranean colors and flavors. The vegetables are confit in flavored olive oil to further accentuate the essence of Provence.

Recipe - Thick sea bass steak with wild fennel stems, confit provencal vegetables and vierge sauce

Serves: 4

In this recipe:

  • thick pieces sea bass
  • plum tomato
  • eggplant
  • poivrade artichokes
  • round zucchini


Wine pairing:





Principal ingredients
1 x 160 g thick pieces sea bass
100 g coarse salt
2 dried wild fennel stems
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
Confit provencal vegetables
2 baby eggplant
2 poivrade artichokes
2 baby round zucchini
2 baby yellow bell peppers
3 baby red bell peppers
Flavored olive oil
500 ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch thyme
1 bay leaf
30 g pink garlic from Lautrec
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 baby fennel
30 ml olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt, white pepper
4 cherry tomatoes
2 zucchini flowers
20 g potato starch
Vierge sauce
1 plum tomato
30 g black olives
30 g shallot
2 garlic cloves
juice of 1 lemon
salt, white pepper
2 pinches lemon thyme
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch dill
8 small pansies

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  1. Cover the thick pieces of sea bass with coarse salt for 20 minutes. Rinse, pat dry and refrigerate the fish pieces.
  2. Confit provencal vegetables: lWash all the vegetables. Cut the baby eggplants in two lengthwise and sprinkle lightly with salt to extract the maximum amount of water for 10 minutes. Rinse and mark on a hot griddle to form a criss-cross pattern. Prepare the flavored olive oil by heating together the olive oil, thyme, bay leaf and crushed garlic. Add the eggplants and simmer at 85°C for 20 minutes or until the point of a knife is easily inserted into the center of an eggplant. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn the poivrade artichokes, add to the flavored olive oil and simmer at 85°C for 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cut each baby round zucchini into 4. Simmer in the same flavored oil for 5 to 7 minutes. Blacken and remove the peel from the baby bell peppers. Set one aside for the vierge sauce and halve the remaining 2 bell peppers, remove and discard the seeds. Simmer in the flavored oil for 5 minutes, set aside.
  3. Trim and remove the stems from the baby fennel, cook in a covered sauté pan with the olive oil, water, lemon juice, salt and pepper for 15 to 20 minutes or until or until the point of a knife is easily inserted into the center of a fennel. Pan-fry the cherry tomatoes in a little olive oil until the skins begin to wrinkle, set aside. Remove the stamen from the zucchinis flowers and cut each into 2. Lightly dust with potato starch. Deep fry in oil heated to 120°C until the petals turn translucent (semi-transparent), drain on absorbent paper.
  4. Vierge sauce: Peel and seed the tomato. Cut the tomato flesh, reserved bell pepper and the olives into a fine brunoise. Finely chop the shallot and garlic. In a bowl, place the lemon juice, salt, pepper and lemon thyme. Whisk in the olive oil. Just before serving gently heat to warm the sauce, add the brunoise of vegetables, chopped shallot and garlic.
  5. Thick sea bass steak with wild fennel stems: Preheat the oven to 120°C. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over low heat. Add the sea bass steaks skin side down. Sear for 3 minutes to firm but without coloring, remove from the pan. Place the dried wild fennel stems in a pan, arrange on top the seared fish, skin side up. Transfer to the oven for 5 to 8 minutes: The flesh should remain soft but translucent. Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum paper and rest for 5 minutes.
  6. To serve: Pat dry the dried wild fennel stems with absorbent paper. Arrange the vegetables on a plate. To one side place the thick sea bass steak on top of the dried wild fennel stems. Dot the plat with spoonfuls of warm vierge sauce and decorate with sprigs of dill. Finish with 2 pansies and serve.

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