If you follow my Instagram you’ll have seen the delicious picture I posted of an amazing fish lunch that I had recently at 2Passos Restaurant in the Algarve, Portugal. A beautiful whole Dorade (Sea Bream) baked in the oven on a bed of onions, tomatoes and garlic. The combination had all the flavours of the Mediterranean and made for an absolutely delicious lunch in the sun. Back from my holiday now, I’m still dreaming about those delicious flavours so I decided to re-create the recipe at home. Sea-Bass was the closest fish at the fish counter that I could find to the Sea-Bream so I decided to have a go at making Algarvian Style Sea-Bass.
To make the Algarvian Style Sea-Bas, start by preheating the oven to 180C (350F)
Slice the onions into rings and roughly slice the garlic. It may sound like a lot of garlic but it’s definitely the garlic that makes this dish so Algarvian! Everything is Portugal is full of garlic and olive oil and I can’t get enough of it!Quarter the tomatoes and add to the onions and garlic in a Deep Roasting Tin. Drizzle over 3 tablespoons of the oil, season well with plenty of salt and black pepper and stir to make sure everything is well coated. You need so much olive oil as you don’t want the vegetables to dry out in the oven. They soften and break down to make almost a kind of sauce to have with the fish!Bake the onions, garlic and tomatoes in the oven for 45 mins, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn on the top. After 45 minutes stir through most of the handful of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, leaving a few behind to stuff the fish with and garnish the dish at the end.
Now it’s time to prepare the fish. I bought mine gutted from the fish counter but you could always just buy fish fillets, it would work in a similar way. just make sure to sit them on top of the lemon and coriander (cilantro) rather than stuffing them with it).
Slice half of the lemon and stuff into the belly of the fish along with a few coriander (cilantro) leaves. Rub the remaining tablespoon of olive oil all over the fish skin to coat it well and season well with plenty of sea salt. Then, lay the fish on top of the tomato and onion mixture and bake for a further 15 minutes until the flesh is cooked through. The flesh will be opaque rather than translucent.
An optional step when the fish is cooked through is to turn the grill on for a couple of minutes to crisp up the skin on the fish and add some colour. I love the charred flavour that this brings to the dish as most Algarve Seafood is cooked on an open flame or a BBQ!
Finally, squeeze the juice of the remaining half a lemon over the dish and serve garnished with a sprinkling of the chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves. And there you have it! Baked Algarvian Style Sea-Bass cooked in a London apartment!One bite of this Algarvian Style Sea-Bass and the feeling of being sat on the beach in the sun eating this at lunch came flooding back. I love the way that food can evoke so many memories and the smells and tastes can take you right back to another time and place. The fish in this dish is so juicy thanks to baking it with the onions and tomatoes so that it doesn’t dry out and I love the way the onions, garlic and tomatoes almost melt into a delicious sauce as they break down.
If you want to increase the richness of the dish you can even add a small knob of butter to the tomatoes and onions and stir through just before serving. Insanely decadent but full of healthy fats and plenty of protein and vitamins.This dish served two of us a huge main meal and there were plenty of leftovers of the tomatoes and onions to use at a later date. It really was a filling meal and would be delicious served with a yummy salad, like my Lentil and Feta one or maybe my Roasted Kale and Broccoli one.
You could use any fish in the dish if you can’t get your hands on sea bass. At 2Passos they used Sea-Bream, but equally you could use any whole fish or even fillets if that’s what you have to hand. Cod and salmon would both work well in this. It’s a great one for a dinner party as it looks so beautiful when it’s brought to the table in it’s cooking dish! And it’s so easy to make – most of the time it’s just doing it’s own thing in the oven!
All you need now is a glass of crisp white wine and some sunshine!!
Allergy & Dietary Information for Algarvian Style Sea-Bass
This recipe is Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free & Refined-Sugar Free. It’s also suitable for Paleo, SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), Whole30, Pescatarian and Low Carb diets.
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