Mediterranean sea bass "au naturel", with baby leeks from la bastide, a lemony fish sauce and sea urchin tongues
(By Jean-François Bérard)
1 sea bass: 1.4 kg
Baby leeks: 500 g
White stock: 600 cl
Butter: 40 g
Olive oil: 3 cl
Fine salt: 1.5 g
Milled pepper: 1.5 g
Fleur de sel: 1 pinch
Garlic cloves: 2
Squid: 200 g
Ripe tomatoes chopped): 1
Sea urchins: 4
Sprigs of basil: 4
Wild Fennel: 1 stick
Preparing the fish fillets
Scale the fish and remove from bones to form fillets.
Remove remaining bones with tweezers.
Put aside the head and backbone (cut bone into large sections).
Preparing the sauce
Fry the fish bones and head, wild fennel, chopped tomato and a clove of garlic in hot olive oil for 10-15 mins, then de-glaze with a little white stock. Cover and simmer for 1 hour approx then strain through a chinois strainer and season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice. Keep warm.
Preparing the squid
Remove the head. Cut the body in half, rinse and wipe with kitchen paper.
Preparing the Sanary sea urchins
Open the sea urchins with scissors; empty out the sea water using a teaspoon. Remove the tongues delicately and place on a plate.
Preparing the leeks
Wash well several times and remove the very green tip. Fry gently in hot olive oil (the leeks should not brown).
Season, then add the white stock.
Cover and simmer until cooked, then glaze the leeks with their cooking juice and put aside to cool.
Preparing the sea bass
Season the sea bass fillets.
Fry the sea bass and squid in hot olive oil with a crushed clove of garlic. When cooked (2 minutes on each side), place on a grid or kitchen paper.
Melt the butter and finish cooking the sea bass in frothy butter for a few seconds.
Place the sea bass and squid in the plate, slightly off-centre. Add the 4 sea urchin tongues and baby leeks.
Just before serving, add two tablespoons of the fish sauce, put a pinch of fleur de sel on the sea bass and decorate with a sprig of basil.
Pairing food and wine: suggestion by our Head Sommelier Samuel Arsac: Blanc de Blanc Domaine Dupuy de Lôme (AOC Bandol) Sainte Anne d’Evenos (2011) "Famille Benoît Cosse et Geoffroy Perouse. Directeur et vinificateur: Gérald Damidot".