September 2020

Sicilian-Spiced Sea Bass with Grilled Tomatoes and Baby Fennel


1 rounded teaspoon fennel seeds
1 rounded teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon green or black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
6 small sea bass, gutted and scaled
extra virgin oil, to brush
3 unwaxed lemons
a few bay leaves
4  baby fennel bulbs
12 oz. cherry tomatoes
wedges of lemon, to serve

6 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes


Preheat the grill. 

Crush the fennel seeds, oregano, cumin seeds, salt, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes together thoroughly using a pestle and mortar. Make 3 slashes in each side of the fish with a sharp knife. Brush olive oil all over the fish and rub the pounded spices over it and into the slits. Cut 2 of the lemons in half vertically, then cut 1 1/2 into thin slices. Cut or tear the bay leaves into halves or thirds. Place half a slice of lemon and a piece of bay leaf in each slit. Cut each fennel bulb in quarters lengthwise and thread the cherry tomatoes onto the skewers. Brush the fish, fennel, and tomatoes with oil and barbecue over medium heat until charred, turning them halfway through, removing them as they are cooked. Serve with wedges of lemon.

Tip: Cook the fish under a conventional broiler instead, or in the case of tuna and swordfish, in a nonstick skillet.

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