Sea Bass With Summer Squash and Fennel: Quick Recipe

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Sea Bass With Summer Squash and Fennel: Quick Recipe

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FRONDS FOREVER This recipe makes use of every part of the fennel—not just the bulb—to build multiple layers of flavor and fragrance.

FRONDS FOREVER This recipe makes use of every part of the fennel—not just the bulb—to build multiple layers of flavor and fragrance.


Bryan Gardner for The Wall Street Journal, Food Styling by Heather Meldrom, Prop Styling by Nidia Cueva

The Chef: Steven Satterfield


Michael Hoeweler

His Restaurant: Miller Union in Atlanta, Ga.

What He Is Known For: A deep affinity for vegetable cookery, from root to stem. Inventive dishes that seem timeless.

MILD, SUCCULENT and gently sweet when cooked, summer squash is too often overlooked at this time of year, when other, bolder, brighter vegetables are also coming into season. But it makes a great base on which to layer other ingredients and flavors.

“In the South, we cook it with onions and butter,” said Atlanta chef

Steven Satterfield.

In this simple recipe, he adds fennel and a handful of herbs to a sauté of squash, onions and butter, and then lays pan-seared sea-bass fillets on top.

Mr. Satterfield begins by working herbs, shallots, lemon zest and juice, and garlic into the butter, which lends flavor to both the vegetables and the fish. The fennel brings a decidedly Provençal anise accent to the dish. Low, slow stewing concentrates the squash’s delicate flavor. A splash of white wine and a final pat of herb butter make a simple, scrumptious sauce.

A little bit south-of-France, a little bit south-of-the-Mason-Dixon, this fresh and flavorful dish will change the mind of anyone who’s underestimated the low-key appeal of summer squash.

Sea Bass With Summer Squash and Fennel

Total Time: 35 minutes Serves: 4

  • 1 bulb fennel, stalk and fronds attached
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced dill
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon sliced tarragon
  • ½ clove garlic, minced
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 pounds summer squash, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 six-ounce sea bass fillets
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine

1. Separate fennel bulb from stalks. Quarter bulb and remove tough outer layers. Dice bulb. Thinly slice stalks into rounds. Mince fronds.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, dill, fennel fronds, chives, tarragon, garlic, shallots, and lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper. Set a lidded large sauté pan over medium-high heat and stir in 1½ tablespoons butter mixture. Add fennel bulb and stalks and onions. Sauté until onions turn translucent, 3 minutes. Stir in squash and 1 tablespoon butter mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover pan with lid. Stew squash, stirring occasionally, until tender and sweet, 15 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter mixture and season with salt. Remove squash from heat and cover to keep warm.

3. Set a second large skillet over medium heat. Swirl in oil and season fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Once pan is very hot, carefully lay in fillets. (If necessary, cook in batches to avoid crowding.) Cook fish until golden brown on underside, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip fish and pour in wine to deglaze pan. Add remaining herb-butter mixture and cook until butter melts and fish flakes when pressed, 1-2 minutes more.

4. To serve, divide squash among 4 plates and lay fillets on top. Garnish with additional herbs, if you like.

By | 2017-07-12T19:46:28+00:00 July 12th, 2017|0 Comments

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