Baked Sea Bass with Slow Roasted Tomatoes

For a lot of people cooking a whole fish is a little intimidating.  That’s why so many of us cook fish fillets instead or (like the lady in my fishmonger the other day) ask for the head and tail to be cut off and the fish gutted to make the whole process a little easier and I suspect to make the fish look less, well, fish like.  The truth is that if you bake a whole fish, the whole process of cooking could not be easier, and once your fish is baked it will simple enough to remove the bones as the cooked fish will literally fall off them.  This recipe for baked sea bass is really quite fool proof and makes an impressive and tasty dinner that is actually very healthy to boot.  Try to buy your sea bass from a fishmonger and look for clear eyes while avoiding fish that has too much of a “fishy” smell.  Sea bream works just as well.  

1 500g sea bass or sea bream
4 tomatoes sliced in half
2 cloves of garlic sliced
1 handful of basil leaves sliced
1/2 cup white wine
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to season   
1.  Preheat the oven to its maximum temperature then reduce to 200C. 
2.  Place the tomatoes in an oven proof dish, drizzle with olive oil and season.  Scatter the basil and garlic over the top and bake in the oven for 10 mins.   
2.  Meanwhile, slash the fish three times on each side to allow it to cook more evenly and season making sure the seasoning gets inside as well.  
3.  Remove the tomatoes from the oven and place the fish in the same dish with the tomatoes, drizzle with some more olive oil and the white wine and then return the fish and tomatoes to the oven.  
4.  Bake for around 30 mins or until the fish is firm to touch.  Leave the fish to rest for a few minutes before serving with some green vegetables or rice.  
Serves two.  
This recipe is adapted from the Eagle Cookbook, although I increased the cooking time for the tomatoes to give them a softer texture and more intense flavour.  I have been sent a copy of the Cookbook to review by the publishers however I want to try out a few more recipes first before reviewing.  
If you liked reading this you might be interested in this recipe for fennel and fish soup (use the left over bones from the baked sea bass to make fish stock for the soup) or this recipe for salmon and smoked haddock fish cakes.


  1. sea bass is my favorite fish…your dish looks heavenly!

  2. Wow, that looks amazing!
    I would definitely recommend Kai, but it IS expensive.
    I also went to Laterna on your recommendation. Loved it. Very Bill Granger. Will blog about it soon.

  3. The dish with wild sea bass would be expensive, but the picture is the farmed bream option which is great value and has a superb taste. I agree it looks fab.

  4. I like the simplicity of this. Incidentally, I think Halibut is a very underrated fish.

  5. This looks lovely, the combination of fish and tomatoes is one of my favourites.

  6. For some reason, cooking fish has always been intimidating to me…with the exception of whole fish – that’s the easiest! Lovely recipe – going to have to try this combo soon!

  7. Kiss my Spatula – I love sea bass as well.
    Emily – Thanks for the tip re Kai and glad to hear you liked Lantana
    A London Fishmonger – I am sure my fishmonger told me it was sea bass rather than bream. How do you tell the difference – is bream wider than bass?
    The Greasy Spoon – Yes it is a very simple recipe
    Ginger – thanks
    Su-Lin – sounds like you are the opposite of most people!

  8. Your pic is as pretty as the one in the cookbook!

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