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Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish

Sea bass with celery leaves and sun-dried tomato confit

Sea bass with celery leaves and sun-dried tomato confit
Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Seven years ago, when chefs Mario Batali and David Pasternack opened their New York restaurant Esca, they introduced Manhattan to what they called "crudo" -- Italian-style sliced raw fish. It was inspired by the carpaccio di pesce (sometimes referred to ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4
  • 1/3 cup pitted Nicoise olives, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup best-quality oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons best-quality olive oil
  • 8 ounces skinless sea bass fillet
  • Fleur de sel
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups small celery leaves

Step 1In a small bowl, combine the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil.

Step 2Using a very sharp, straight knife, cut the fillet lengthwise in half, and then cut each piece in half lengthwise again, so that you have four long pieces. Cut away the tip ends so that the four pieces are fairly rectangular and of equal thickness. Cut each of the four pieces on the bias into slices one-fourth-inch thick, making clean, sure cuts. There should be at least 16 slices, though the size and shape of the fillets may allow for more or less.

Step 3Place four slices on each of four serving plates. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato-olive mixture over the fish and garnish with celery leaves. Serve immediately.

Note: From chef Michael Reardon of Catch. Suzuki sea bass can sometimes be found at downtown fish markets and Mitsuwa stores; wild striped bass or bigeye tuna may be substituted. Use only the tiny inner leaves of the celery.


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