For those of you, who already know us this recipe will definitely not be a surprise – it’s simple, well balanced and relatively easy to cook – the Mediterranean cuisine at its very best. The sea bream’s coarse and succulent flesh is perfect with the buttery citrus sauce and the scent of fresh sage.
The simplicity of the dish requires really high quality of the basic ingredients, and you definitely need the freshest fish you can get. Depending on the size of the fish you need to adjust the baking time – just remember the fish is ready, when the flesh is opaque throughout.
Oh, and one last thing – I admit this recipe is one of those, that can make your kitchen smell a bit fishy, but believe me – it totally worth it.
Prep and baking time: 30 – 35 minutes
2 sea breams (about 1,3kg/3lb), cleaned and scaled
a small brunch of fresh sage leaves
2 small lemons, ½ lemon juice, the rest – finely sliced
3-4 tbsp plain flour, for dusting
2 tbsp olive oil
120ml dry white wine
30g/2 tbsp butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F, rack placed in the middle of the oven.
Wipe the fish dry inside and out and season the cavity with salt and pepper. With a sharp knife make three diagonal slashes on each side.
Dust the fishes lightly with flour. In a large roasting pan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the fishes for about 1 minute on each side, until the skin is crisp and lightly brown.
Place the fishes on a plate to cool down a bit, and when possible fill the cavities with half of the sage leaves and the lemon slices. Place also half a slice of lemon and a sage leave in every side slash of the fishes.
Arrange the fishes on a shallow ovenproof dish and bake for about 10-15 minutes, then carefully turn fishes over and bake for 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile deglaze the roasting pan – pour off the excess oil and place in over medium-low heat. Melt in the butter and pour the white wine and lemon juice. Scrape down the remaining flour and stir well. Add the remaining sage leaves, cut in stripes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and thickened from the flour. If the flour from searing the fish is already burnt or just too dark, use a clean pan and after melting the butter add a tbsp of flour to in. Stir until the mixture is smooth and continue by pouring the wine and lemon juice slowly, stirring the mixture.
Carefully transfer the fishes to a heated serving dish and drizzle the sauce over.