Whole sea bream with herb butter

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

"The herb butter really seeps into the fish and gives this classic dish a little bit more complexity without dominating the natural flavours of the bream." - Neil Perry

  • 4 (450gm each) whole sea bream, cleaned
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • To serve: lemon cheeks
  •  
  • Herb butter
  • ¾ cup (loosely packed) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 bunch each of tarragon and chervil, leaves picked
  • 1 (55gm) egg, hard-boiled and finely grated
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 3 tsp salted baby capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cornichons, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ clove of garlic, crushed
  • 125 gm unsalted butter, chopped, softened
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
01   For herb butter, blanch spinach, tarragon and chervil in boiling salted water for 5 seconds, drain and refresh in iced water. Squeeze out excess water thoroughly, then coarsely chop. Transfer to a blender and process with remaining ingredients, except butter and parsley, to form a paste. Add butter and pulse to combine. Pass through a coarse sieve, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and add parsley. Place on a sheet of greaseproof paper, roll into a log and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm. When firm, cut 4 discs of butter and bring to room temperature. Refrigerate remaining butter for another use.
02   Preheat a chargrill over high heat. Drizzle fish with oil, season with sea salt and score both sides in a crisscross pattern. Cook for 4 minutes, turn and cook for another 3 minutes or until flesh gives under light finger pressure. Rest, covered with foil for 2 minutes, then serve with herb butter, a drizzle of oil, lemon cheeks and hand-cut chips.

Recipe:

NEIL PERRY

Photography:

CHRIS CHEN

Styling:

EMMA KNOWLES

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