Pan Seared Sea Bass w/Grilled Zucchini & Chimichurri
From the MOV Kitchen: Courtesy of Rebecca Schwarz
Heat a grill or griddle to medium high heat. Slice the zucchini on the bias about 1/4” thick. Brush the grill with olive oil and place the zucchini directly on the rack pressing down slightly to ensure grill marks. Grill approximately 2 minutes per side. The goal is to get griddle marks without losing all the toothsomeness of the zucchini. Remove and place in a single layer on a plate. Set in fridge to chill.
Finely chop the leaves of the parsley and oregano if using fresh and place in a bowl. Mince the garlic and add to the bowl along with crushed red pepper, 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and black pepper. Stir in olive oil and red wine vinegar. Chimichurri is supposed to be loose, you can do the herbs in a food processor if you prefer but do not add the liquids as it should not emulsify. Set aside to allow flavors to meld, do not refrigerate during this time, any leftover can be refrigerated overnight.
Rinse the fish and check to be sure there are no scales still attached. Dry thoroughly and season both sides with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Place in cold non stick skillet skin side down and turn heat on to medium high heat. As the pan heats the fats from the skin will be released and the skin will crisp and release from the pan. Do not try to force the skin off the pan, it will release when it’s ready.
While the fish cooks plate 1 cup baby arugula on eat plate and add grape tomatoes (sliced in half longwise) and thinly sliced red onion. Place chilled grilled zucchini in the center of the salad to create a buffer for the hot fish when placed on the salad. Garnish around the sides with the edible flowers.
Once the fish skin releases from the pan flip it and cook for 1-2 more minutes til the top is just seared and starts to color. Remove from heat and place skin side up directly on the grilled zucchini slices. Place chimichurri by the spoonful next to the fish. Do not place it overtop as it will ruin the crispy skin you’ve just work so hard to create. Drizzle a small amount of traditional balsamic vinegar around the sides of the salad and serve.
Sea bass is a fish that you can eat the skin. If you crisp it properly it almost has a bacon like flavor and texture with a fish essence.