sea bass on panzanella salad

Never work with children or animals… or do loads of things for the first time at the same time. Like I did recently, by (1) cooking sea bass (2) using someone else’s hotplate (3) going live on YouTube. These are the things that went through my head as I pushed the ‘go live’ button and streamed my first ever cooking of sea bass on panzanella salad.

Watch it back for yourself here:

I based this on a dish I’d had at the Blacksmiths on the Isle of Wight. It was a terrific fish dish with a loose nod to panzanella, the Tuscan bread salad designed to use up leftovers. Instead of leftovers ingredients went in fresh and headed in vaguely the same direction. Instead of stewing overnight tomatoes and onion were briefly cooked before being tossed with olives and capers. The fish served on a crouton of french bread finished it off.

The sea bass dish as they serve it at the Blacksmiths pub

Sea bass has a mild flavour, which means it can work well with a lot of different spices and seasonings. Plus, it’s got a really delicate texture that melts in your mouth. This makes it a great pairing for sharp, sweet and salty panzanella.

I was super pleased with how it came out and I’ll definitely be making it again. Possibly not livestreaming it next time though!

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sea bass on panzanella salad

A light Summery dish fill of lively flavours.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 person


  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes about 10 or so
  • 3 spring onions ½ red onion would also work
  • 1 fillet sea bass
  • 2 slices baguette
  • balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to garnish


  • Get a frying pan over a medium heat. While it heats, halve the cherry tomatoes and finely slice your onion.
  • Add a splash of oil to your pan and gently fry the tomatoes and onion just to soften slightly. They only need 5 minutes max. Remove to a bowl and stir in olives and capers.
  • Season the fish all over. Slice lightly across the skin 2 or 3 times - this will prevent it curling up. Add the sea bass skin side down to the pan and hold with the back of a fish slice or your fingers to convince it to lie flat. After 3 minutes deftly flick the sea bass on to the flesh side and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer to a board or plate to rest while you toast the bread.
  • Put your slices of bread in the pan and cook for 1 - 2 minutes per side to toast.
  • To serve, arrange your tomato mix on a plate and top with the toasts. Place the fish on top and drizzle over balsamic glaze (or really good quality balsamic vinegar) and extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.



This can be bulked up with a little more veg in the salad; peppers and courgettes would be nice. Additionally consider serving with skinny fries to get an odd take on fish 'n' chips. A little rocket would also be really nice.
Keyword fish, make at home

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