Sea bass ceviche with fennel and orange; Fennel and lemon salmon with pesto butter

This week’s recipes are elegant summery dishes, sure to impress and are easy to make. The first is great served as canapés or an appetiser, the second is a roasting dish perfect for a healthy family dinner.

Both dishes use fennel which is a very underrated vegetable but one that is increasing in popularity. Fennel grows in a warm and dry Mediterranean climate and has a fresh anise flavour.

It’s a great accompaniment to most fish dishes, and we know that eating more fish regularly is good for us. This superfood from the sea has many nutritional benefits and is one of the most beneficial protein sources for your diet.


Sea bass ceviche with fennel and orange (Serves 6 as starter)

500g sea bass fillet, sliced thinly

1 bulb fennel, sliced thinly

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and black pepper

50ml fresh orange juice

2 oranges, peeled and segmented, inner skin removed

For the dressing:

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground

1 tsp honey

100ml extra virgin olive oil

sea salt to season

For this dish it is best to make the dressing first. To start, heat a dry pan and toast the fennel seeds until popping. Crush with a pestle and mortar. Place the fennel in a bowl, add the other ingredients and whisk vigorously until combined. Season with salt to taste and leave to the side.

Slice the sea bass thinly and place on a flat plate, spooning over 20ml of the fresh orange juice. Leave for 10 minutes.

Slice the fennel thinly and put in a bowl with the sea bass. Season with salt and black pepper and covered with remainder of the fresh orange juice. You can cling film this and place in fridge until ready to serve.

Remove and place the sea bass and fennel on a clean plate and dress with the segmented orange. Drizzle over a spoonful of the dressing and garnish with the fennel herbs from the top of the fennel bulb.


Fennel and lemon salmon with pesto butter (Serves 4)

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced thinly lengthways

4 salmon fillets approx 300g, skin on


black pepper

1tsp lemon rind, grated

2 tbsp olive oil

For the pesto butter:

80g butter

1 bunch basil leaves

1 clove garlic

50g pine nuts

50g Parmesan

Salad leaves to garnish. Preheat the oven to 240C. Line a roasting tray with greaseproof paper. Place the fennel on the tray with the salmon, skin side up. Score the salmon skin lightly and season with the salt and pepper. Drizzle the ingredients with olive oil and sprinkle over the lemon rind. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, when the fish should be just cooked.

To make the pesto butter, add the butter to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Using a pestle and mortar, combine the garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan with one large bunch of basil. Once mixed, combine with the butter which should be at room temperature.

When serving the salmon, spoon over one tablespoon of the pesto butter and drizzle some over new baby boiled potatoes.

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