Pretty well everywhere these days a nice fresh sea bass is easily found.


  • 4 fennel bulbs (keeping a few fennel fronds for garnish)
  • 140 ml olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (halved lengthways)
  • 4 sea bass fillets (120g each)
  • 2 tblsp basil (roughly chopped)
  • 20 g black olives (halved)
  • 2 lemons


  • Remove the tough outside layers of the fennel, chop the fronds and set them aside.
  • Cut the bulb in half top to bottom, then cut it into four wedges.
  • Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pan, add the fennel and fry it over a high heat, stirring from time to time, until they begin to turn golden brown.
  • Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  • Add four tablespoons of hot water and season. Cover the pan, turn the heat down and cook until the fennel is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Next, preheat a frying pan to cook the sea bass.
  • Slash one cm deep cuts across the skin of the fish fillets and season with the chopped herbs and push this mixture into the slashes.
  • Brush the fish with oil. Place the fillets in a hot pan/griddle pan skin-side down and grill/cook for about two top three. Turn over and grill for a further four minutes or until cooked. Squeeze the juice from one of the lemons and mix it with 100ml of olive oil.
  • Quarter the other lemon and set aside. When the fennel is done, add the olives, remove the pan from the heat, add the fennel tops and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  • Place the grilled fish on serving plates, pour the lemon dressing over and scatter with any remaining herbs.
  • Add a wedge of lemon to each portion. Serve with the fennel and olives.

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