Sea Bass with Fennel, Lime & Olives

Oftentimes, I spend more time looking for the English equivalent of some Italian food terms in the internet than cooking the dish itself.   Everyone has his own opinion and declares it as a fact that it gets frustrating to have more than one word to rely on.  I am almost certain that spigola is sea bass in English. 

I occupied my time the past days switching our clothes from winter to spring/summer.  It was a relief to touch the fabrics of linen and cotton again while I put away the wool and thick clothes.  Just by the touch of the fabrics exhilarates me.  New colors are popping out in the garden everyday.  All the wonderful spring fruit I had been waiting for are coming out in the fruit stands.  I don't think I need do state that I love spring the most.   After being cooped up indoors throughout winter, it is a relief to enjoy outdoors again. 

Eating under the olive trees, the first forkful of this fish sends you to summer instantly.   The ingredients are fresh and light.  It's deliciously summery.  I remember seeing an advertisement years ago of a product that I don't remember anymore.  It was in full winter and with this product, everyone was imagining summer.   I thought it was lame.  Aha, I don't think it's the first advertisement with that storyline.  In a nutshell, I bit my words because I also imagined full-blown summer in the beach while I was eating this.

I didn't need to stay in the kitchen while I was cooking this which is fundamental when the time comes it becomes unbearably hot and you don't want to die of the heat while cooking.  At the peak of summer, I usually abandon my kitchen and say arrivederci until the promise of a temperature drop again.

I first cooked this with a couple of limes then I used lemons the second time around when I took the photos.  The limes give much better flavor than the lemons.    

Sea Bass with Fennel, Lime & Olives

Serves 2
  • 2 sea bass (or any similar fish)
  • 2 fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped
  • handful of green olives, pitted
  • 2 untreated limes, quartered (or lemons but limes give a better flavor)
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Put all the ingredients together in a baking pan.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & sprinkle with salt.  
  2. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 180°C for 45 minutes (or more, depending on the size of the fish).
  3. When the fish is cooked, clean it by separating the meat from the bones and skin.
  4. Transfer the fish to the plates with the vegetables and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.