We lived in Florida for about five years before moving to Vancouver. One huge plus of living in Vancouver is that we get to see all the seasons here! During our morning run today, we noticed the fall season slowly sneaking in through the door. The air has started to cool down a bit, and the heat of the summer sun is giving way to the murkiness of the fall. I saw the first bit of the fall colors on the trees this morning. The cycle of life is turning – the old is withering away, gradually making way for the new. No matter where we are in this cycle, we have to appreciate our purpose in it.
We wanted to celebrate the last of the summer days with a light and refreshing summer dish made with some fresh produce I picked up at the Farmer’s Market last Wednesday. If there is one common lesson I have learned from all the chefs I have worked with, it is this – you start with the best, freshest produce you can find – and you let their natural flavors shine in a dish. Your job is to marry the ingredients together, and not mask them by over processing.
I had some beautiful Meyer Lemons and Zucchini which I thought would pair nicely with a filet of Sea bass. Meyer lemons, I call them my yellow beauties, is my go-to flavor booster in the kitchen! Their flavor is sweeter and less acidic than common lemons and their skin is very fragrant and thin, so their zest can be used to enhance a dish without making it too bitter. I have used raw zucchini salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette, to add texture to the dish.
Hope you enjoy!
Sea bass with Meyer Lemon Purée and Zucchini Salad
Meyer Lemon Purée
4 Meyer lemons
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peel the skin off the Meyer lemons with a vegetable peeler. Scrap away any white pith from the peels with a pairing knife. Juice the lemons and strain.
Place the Meyer lemon peels, honey and 1 cup of water in a saucepot. Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer until peels are tender about 30 mins. Transfer the mixture from the pot to a blender. Add lemon juice and salt, purée it until it is smooth. Keep warm for serving.
Season the fish on both sides with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Heat a skillet on high heat until just smoking. Add a tablespoon of olive oil on the pan. Add the fish fillet- presentation side down first, and cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. When done, remove the fish from the pan and blot on a paper towel.
Shave long strips off zucchini with a vegetable peeler or a mandolin. Dress with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Roll the zucchini strips in small cylindrical shapes.
To finish, place the Meyer lemon purée on the middle of the plate. Place the fish on the top of purée and arrange zucchini cylinders. Garnish with fresh blackberries and herbs.