Aleppo Roasted Fennel With Pan Seared Sea Bass, Tapenade & Raw Tahini

Aleppo Roasted Fennel With Pan Seared Sea Bass, Tapenade & Raw Tahini

Yum Yum Yummy Yummo! Now that is the perfect Fish dish.

Middle-Eastern flavors clearly play a huge role in my cooking. I always gravitate to them and try to showcase how to use them in new and exciting ways. Tahini isn’t just to help make a creamy hummus! On it’s own, the earthy, nutty, richness balances so well with a grilled or pan-fried piece of meat, you will freak when you try it out.

In my mind, summertime is meant for beautiful flaky white fish. I have used a Mediterranean Sea bass here but you can substitute it with any white, light fish. The olive tapenade, fresh lemon juice and zest balances perfectly with the fish and the raw tahini. The roasted fennel adds a nice sweet/ spicy/crunchy element that just takes this dish to another level. There are a lot of components here but they are all insanely easy to make. For an extra bite I make this exact dish but toss cherry tomatoes with the tapenade and serve on top…both versions are perfect.

Aleppo Chili Roasted Fennel
  • 2 fennel bulbs, sliced 1/3 inch thick- I keep the core intact to hold it all together- keep the fennel ferns for garnish
  • 1 tsp Aleppo chili- can substitute with chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Lay the fennel down, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the Aleppo chili and season well with salt and pepper on both sides. Place into the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and slightly burnt on the edges. Make sure to flip half way through. Keep on the pan, so that 5 minutes before eating you can re-heat.

Olive Tapenade/Tomato Salsa
  • 10 Kalamata olives - seeds removed
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3-cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes

1. In a blender place the kalamata olives, parsley, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Blitz a couple of times until all combined. Either use it this way or toss a couple spoonful’s of this mixture with the cherry tomatoes and keep to the side.

To assemble
  • 2 Mediterranean sea bass fillets, skin on.
  • 1 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoon raw tahini
  • fennel ferns for garnish

1. In another pan heat up 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Score the skin side of the fish. Season both sides well with salt and black pepper. Place the fish into the hot pan flesh side down for 3 minutes. Flip over for another 3 minutes on the other side.

2. On a large plate, place the warmed fennel then put the fish on top of the fennel. Drizzle with the tahini and place over the tapenade tomato salsa. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds, the fennel ferns and drizzle over the olive oil. Serve immediately