Oven-Roasted Wild Striped Bass ▶
There’s nothing new under the sun, but you have to look twice at Chef Kerry Simon’s stunning stacked vegetable accompaniment to realize — it’s ratatouille. The chef grills his vegetables on the grill section of a professional range; however, oven-roasting is a good alternative. Another good alternative to the chef’s oven-roasted Roma tomatoes are oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, well drained. The chef sautes, then oven-roasts fillets of wild striped bass. You may substitute high quality striped bass from your local fishmonger. And he finishes the dish with sliced, sauteed fingerling potatoes. A dash or two of chive oil adds color and flavor to a beautiful plate.
- Eggplant - 1 medium, very firm, sliced in rounds
- Zucchini - 2 medium, trimmed, sliced in thin lengthwise slices
- Yellow Squash - 2 medium, trimmed, sliced in thin lengthwise slices
- Red Bell Peppers - 2, seeded, cored, halved lengthwise
- Yellow Bell Peppers - 2, seeded, cored, halved lengthwise
- Red Onion - 1, peeled, trimmed, sliced crosswise
- Roma Tomatoes - 12, oven-roasted (alt. 12 oil-packed sun-dried tomato, halves, drained)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Basil leaves - 8
- Wild Striped Bass - Four, 6-ounce, skin on (alt. striped bass fillets)
- Fingerling Potatoes - 1 pound, skin on, parboiled, drained
- Balsamic Vinegar - as needed
- Basil Sprigs - 4, garnish
- Chive Oil (recipe follows)
- Chive Oil
- Fresh Chives - 1 cup, chopped
- Olive Oil - 2 cups
- Vitamin C Tablet - 1/2 of a 200 mg
Brush baking sheets with olive oil. Lay sliced eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash, bell peppers, and red onion on sheets, grouping the same variety of vegetables together on one sheet for even cooking. Brush tops of vegetable slices with olive oil and season very lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast in a 500 degree oven, or underneath a broiler, rotating pan, until vegetables are brown but not burned on one side. Remove pan from oven, turn vegetables onto other side and brown. Remove pans from oven and set aside.
Chop roasted red onion and roma or sun-dried tomato halves together. Place in a small bowl, mixing to combine. Set aside.
Season bass fillets lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Film a large saute pan with olive oil, heat, and sear bass on both sides. Place saute pan with fillets in a 500 F oven to finish cooking, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven, remove fish from pan and keep warm.
Slice fingerling potatoes into the saute pan used to cook the fish, adding more olive oil as necessary. Saute until lightly browned, then deglaze pan with a little balsamic vinegar.
To serve: On one side of each of four warmed dinner plates, make a ratatouille stack, layering vegetables in the following order and cutting to fit (except eggplant): Eggplant, tomato-onion mixture, yellow and red pepper pieces, basil leaf, yellow squash pieces, tomato-onion mixture, basil leaf, zucchini pieces, ending with a little tomato-onion mixture. Garnish with a basil sprig. Divide the fingerling potatoes among the four plates. Top each with a bass fillet. Drizzle fish and potatoes with the deglazing pan juices. Using a squeeze bottle, dot plate with chive oil. Serve immediately.
To prevent the chive oil from loosing its bright green color and as a natural preservative, add ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, a trick learned from Chef Gabino Sotelino, Ambria, Chicago.
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and the vitamin C tablet has been dissolved. Store unused oil covered, refrigerated.