This is a great summer recipe, loaded with Moroccan flavours. The balance of sharp and sweet in this salsa works well with all sorts of fish. And you could use the chermoula on eggplant or chicken.
- 4 small sea bass, cleaned (300 g net each)
- 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, halved (400 g gross)
- 2¼ tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tbsp argan oil
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 60 g coriander, stalk and leaves finely chopped
- 1 whole preserved lemon, flesh discarded and skin roughly chopped (80 g net)
- 3 tsp ground cumin, toasted
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1 whole preserved lemon, flesh discarded and skin finely diced (80 g net)
- 40 g raisins
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 15 g parsley, finely chopped
- 15 g coriander, finely chopped
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven and a large roasting pan to 180°C.
To make the chermoula, use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic, coriander, preserved lemon, cumin and paprika to a paste. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and mix together. You can also mix all the ingredients together in a food processor. Set aside.
Gently score skin of the fish in three places on each side, spaced roughly 5 cm apart. Spread the chermoula over inside and outside of the fish. Cover and refrigerate.
Mix the salsa ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat a frying pan large enough to hold two fish on high heat. Brush the tomato with 3 tsp of the olive oil and place, skin-side down, in hot pan. Cook for 3 minutes, turn and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from pan and stand somewhere warm.
Brush fish with the remaining olive oil and season with salt on both sides. Place 2 fish in the pan and cook for 2 minutes on one side. Remove from the heat and cook repeat with remaining fish. Transfer all fish to the hot roasting pan, uncooked sides facing up, and bake for 6–8 minutes, adding the tomato to the pan for the last 2 minutes of cooking time.
Place the fish on a serving plate and top with salsa. Put the tomato alongside and drizzle with argan oil.