Baked Sea Bream


January 11th 2012

The gilt-headed bream is very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. It has a slightly sweet flavour and can be roasted, fried, grilled, etc. – it’s quite versatile. I believe it’s commonly farmed and therefore is not endangered. Naturally, one would find it in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.

Baked Sea Bream with Potatoes and Vegetables:

1 sea bream per person (gutted and scaled)
2 large potatoes (sliced)
6 tomatoes (cut in half)
1 courgette (sliced)
a handful of mixed olives
6 pieces of garlic (sliced in half)
olive oil
a sprig of thyme
sea salt an cracked black pepper

The fish monger in Chapel Market often has sea bass and sea bream, two for a fiver, among other bargains, so it’s hard to resist buying something. I didn’t have a specific plan, but the idea of cooking simply, as one might do in Spain was quite appealing. I cooked everything in a single oven dish, which certainly saves on washing up and mess. The dish itself, should be about the length of the fish – mine would just about fit two bream if I had company. Do ask your fishmonger to gut and scale the fish – they do it very quickly and don’t charge for it.

sliced potatoes and garlic

Pour a little olive oil into the dish and lay out the sliced potato and garlic, so that the bottom of the dish is covered. Pour a tiny bit more oil over top. Preheat the oven to 200º C and cook the potatoes for 20 minutes.

layered vegetables

In the meantime, cut the tomatoes in half and slice the courgette. When the potatoes have had their 20 minutes, take the dish out of the oven and lay the courgette, tomatoes and olives on top. I used mixed olives that had been marinated in olive oil, so I used some of that in the cooking – it did enhance the olive flavour tremendously, but normal extra virgin is fine too. Pour another little drizzle of oil on top of the vegetables and a sprinkle of seasoning.

cooked vegetables

Put the dish back into the oven for a further 20 minutes.

Make 3 cuts in either side of the fish (see my picture below) with a sharp knife. Put a sprig of thyme and some salt and pepper inside the Sea Bream and lay it on top of the vegetables. Once again drizzle on a little more olive oil (with a spoon from the oven dish if you think there’s enough in there already). Do remember that olive oil is a major ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and it’s very good for you.

baked sea bream

Bake the Sea Bream for 20 minutes on top of the vegetables. Allow the fish and vegetables to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a crisp glass of white wine, such as Mâcon Villages or Sancerre.

About Mad Dog
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16 Responses to Baked Sea Bream

  1. That looks wonderful and very Mediterranean with the olives and vegetables. Lo Jardinier loves bream, so I’ll show him this! Funny, that we must have been posting at about the same time and mine is a fish one too!

  2. ChgoJohn says:

    I love everything about this dish. I don’t know the last time I saw bream around here but that won’t stop me from trying the technique with a fresh relative of bream. Need to check out today’s catch at my fishmonger.

  3. Now that is a very tasty looking bream. I usually just slap it on the planch, but this would be just as easy and oh so much tastier! Now…where´s that Fish Man?!

  4. Rick Sareen says:

    What is all this “a” glass of wine? You are letting your standards slip!

  5. Great to see some fish! I’m with Chica Andaluza, I just get the fishmonger to whip off its head and de-gut it, and then stick it (well, husband does), drizzled with oil and covered with coarse salt, on the barbie – which means I get a break from the cooking, too. Sweet, soft flesh, and the kids love it. But your yummy-sounding recipe would be a good way to give them their veggies at the same time. One question:I always make a complete hash of descaling – should I ask the pecaderia lot to do it for me? Or do you have a quick, foolproof method?

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks. Definitely ask the fishmonger – they manage to descale in about 2 seconds flat and Sea Bream need a good descale.

    • Hi Fiona – am going to butt in here! I never have much luck (apart from in Mercadona) in getting them to do it here – but if you hold the fish under a tap of gently running water and rub the back of a blunt knife from tail to head on the fish they´ll come off really easily! Don´t forget to put the filter plug thing in or you´ll clog up your u-bend 😦

  6. I prepared such a fish the other day! I call it Itallian fish though! The flavours in this a truly awesome and its healthy too!

  7. Thanks Chica Andaluza, I’ve thought of doing it under running water, great idea! I am a disaster with all aspects of household machinery, so thanks also for the pointer re the sink filter!!

  8. Pingback: Sea Bream – griddled | Mad Dog TV Dinners

  9. Pingback: Suquet de Peix | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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