Grilled Sea Bream with Herbs and Garlic Croutons
- serves 4
Succulent, grilled white fish topped with a garlic-crouton oil.
4 whole sea bream (each about 1 lb/500g) cleaned, scaled and heads removed
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp combined minced oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley
¾ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ loaf focaccia
3 Tbsp salt-packed capers, soaked, rinsed and drained
⅓ cup torn mint leaves
⅓ cup roughly chopped parsley
1 Tbsp chopped chives
1 lemon, cut into eighths
1. Fillet the sea bream in such a way that they remain attached at the tail, as if it were hinge. Make 3 parallel slashes about 1/4 inch (5mm) deep in the skin side of each fillet (6 per fish). Rub a generous pinch of salt into each incision. Open the fish and season the inside with salt and pepper. Mix the minced herbs with 4 tsp (20ml) of the olive oil and massage the inside of each fish with it. Reassemble the fish and set aside in the refrigerator.
2. In a skillet over low heat, gently sweat the garlic in 1/2 cup (125ml) of the olive oil until it wilts. Meanwhile, with your fingers, pull crouton-sized morsels of focaccia from between the crusts until you have about 1/2 cup (125ml). Remove the garlic from the oil with a slotted spoon and discard it. Raise heat to medium low, add the focaccia, and cook until the croutons are crisp on all sides, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the croutons to a plate, salt lightly, and set aside. Allow oil to cool to room temperature.
3. Preheat grill on medium. Oil the grill with the remaining olive oil, and then place the fish on the grill at an angle, rotating them after 2 or 3 minutes to cross-hatch them. After another 2 or 3 minutes, carefully flip them over. Cook the second side, without rotating, about 4 minutes. Arrange the fish cross-hatched side up on 4 warm plates to rest. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine reserved garlic-crouton oil with the capers, mint, parsley and chives; toss well. Spoon the mixture over the fish. Top each fish with a few croutons and 2 wedges of lemon.