Pan fried Sea Bream with Ratatouille

All the clean, fresh flavours of Provence can be found in this fragrant dish. The obvious time to eat this dish is the summer, when the tomatoes are fat and bursting with juices and  sweetness and all the vegetables are local and packed with flavours. The Ratatouille can be  prepared one day in advance and the tomato coulis a few hours in advance.

Pan fried Sea Bream with Ratatouille

Ingredients Required

For the ratatouille:
4 tbsp Olive oil
2 Onion, medium/large diced 2cm
4 sprigs Thyme
4 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
2 Red pepper, large, de-seeded and chopped 2cm
2 Courgette, large, cut in half lengthways and chopped 2 cm
1 Aubergine, medium, halved lengthways and chopped 2cm
2 tbsp Tomato puree
4 Plum Tomatoes, halved, quartered and chopped
8 pinches Sea salt
4 pinches Freshly ground, black pepper
For the tomato coulis:
200g Cherry tomatoes (very ripe)
2 pinches Sea salt
2 pinches Sugar (optional)
1 pinch Pepper
2 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
2 pinches Sugar if tomatoes are not ripe enough
For the sea bream:
1 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
4 Sea Breamfillets , descaled and boned, skin slashed to allow the heat to permeate more easily
4 pinches Sea salt
2 pinches Freshly ground, black pepper
1/2 Lemon, for squeezing

Cooking Method

  1. On medium heat sweat the onions, thyme and olive oil for 3 – 4 minutes (no colour). Add the garlic, red pepper, courgette, aubergine, salt and pepper and continue to sweat for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and chopped tomato. On medium heat cook the ratatouille with a lid on for 15 – 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Taste and correct seasoning if required.
  2. In a liquidiser or hand-blender puree the cherry tomatoes with salt, pepper and extra virgin  Olive oil. Taste and add sugar if necessary.
  3. Pre heat the oven to 200°C. Season the sea bream fillets. Sear the flesh side of the fillets for 30 – 40 seconds in the hot olive oil. Turn the fillets onto their skin side and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes. Finish the cooking in a preheated oven for 2 – 3 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillets). Taste and correct seasoning if necessary. Sprinkle lemon juice over the fillets.
  4. Reheat the ratatouille and the raw tomato sauce ensuring it does not boil (if so it would be grainy and lose all of its freshness – you simply just want to warm it up).

To serve

Arrange the ratatouille into the middle of the soup bowls; top with the Sea Bream fillets. Spoon the raw tomato sauce around and lastly drizzle with the best extra virgin olive oil.