PAN-FRIED SEA BASS WITH SPICED CRAB RISOTTO & SALSA VERDE

This is one of the most popular dishes on our menu. Simple in its presentation, but packed full of flavour. The bright green salsa verde, and the golden colour of the spices and saffron in the risotto make this a very vibrant dish.

Risotto can be quite rich and filling, so we use sea bass in this dish for its lean-ness and subtle flavour. The key to cooking this fish is to get skin nice and crispy. If you can’t get hold of sea bass, sea bream or a small portion of cod would be a good alternative. With the skin on of course!

We’re very fussy about the produce we serve you at The Wee Restaurant, especially the fish. We have a couple of suppliers who buy daily from the fish markets across Scotland to ensure we attain the freshest catch. Things like Shetland mussels, Orkney crab, langoustines and lobsters as well as cod, hake, sea bass and all the other top-quality fish available to us in Scotland. Our nation’s cool waters provide us with the best seafood in the world!

The salsa verde helps to offset the risotto’s richness in much the same way that wines like Muscadet or Chablis offset cream-based sauces. The salsa’s acidity, coming from the capers and garlic, add a nice contrast to any fish.

Serves 4

Crab Risotto

100g carnaroli rice

A pinch saffron strands

1tspn curry powder

A pinch of cayenne pepper

1tspn fennel seeds

2 cloves garlic, chopped 

1 shallot, chopped

Freshly-picked crabmeat (approximately 1 large brown crab)

100ml white wine

1l warm fish stock

110g salted butter

1tbsp mascarpone

2tbsp grated Parmesan

3 spring onions, chopped

Method

Start by gently melting the butter in a casserole pan.

Then add the chopped shallots and garlic and cook for 30 seconds being careful not to colour. Season lightly with a pinch of salt.

Next, add the carnaroli rice, spices and fennel seeds. Cook for a further minute.

Add the white wine and stir. Cook for a minute until evaporated and then slowly add the warm fish stock (this will help the rice to absorb the flavour). If you don’t have fresh fish stock, water is fine, and better than stock cubes!

Continue to add the stock, stirring on a low heat until the rice is cooked ‘al dente’ - but not too hard!

Once cooked, you can either use straight away or pour onto a tray and cool quickly (if kept too warm it will continue cooking) and reheat later.

Just prior to serving, incorporate the crab, mascarpone and Parmesan - stirring until the risotto is creamy and smooth.

Add the spring onions at the very last minute to retain their full colour and flavour.

 

Salsa Verde

1 bunch flat parsley

1/2 bunch coriander

A few mint leaves

A few basil leaves

1tspn Dijon mustard

1tspn capers

1 clove garlic

A pinch of salt

100ml olive oil

Method

Place all ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor and blitz for 10 seconds.

Then add the oil and give it a final, quick blitz.

 

Sea Bass 

4 fillets

Some sea salt

Splash of olive oil

A squeeze of lemon

A knob of butter

Method

The sea bass is cooked very simply. Season the fillets with salt and place skin-side down in hot olive oil until the skin crisps up. Turn, and cook for a further 30 seconds.

To finish, add a few drops of fresh lemon juice and a knob of butter to the pan and spoon over the fish.

 

To Serve

Spoon the risotto onto plates and place a piece of sea bass on top. Drizzle a ring of salsa verde around the edge of the plates.

Garnish with micro-greens (if you can source them), a few baby rocket leaves or some picked herbs.

Enjoy!