One secret to cooking seriously good food is having a killer sauce on hand at all times. My go-to summer-time sauce is Chimichurri, a traditional Argentinean condiment with countless variations, but pretty much always involves fresh parsley, garlic olive oil, vinegar, and some red pepper flakes or chili powder. I like to describe this sauce as PUNCHY - ie you should really taste the vinegar / garlic / fresh herbs in every bite. I like to spoon this glorious green goodness over grilled meats, potatoes, or (as in this case) seafood - and I've learned to always make extra, as it tends to be the sauce that everyone reaches for at dinner parties.
BAKED SEA BASS WITH CHIMICHURRI SAUCE
PREP + COOK TIME:
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
- 1 packed cup parsley leaves
- 1/2 packed cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning fish
- 1.5-2 lbs sea bass (or halibut or similar mild white, flakey fish), cut into 4 portions
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- To make the chimichurri sauce: Combine all the chimichurri ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until well chopped, but not pureed. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed - keep in mind you want the sauce to be pretty punchy from the vinegar, garlic, fresh herbs, etc!
- Lightly season the fish with kosher salt. Rub each portion of fish with a generous spoonful of the chimichurri and place on a foil-lined baking tray. Reserve remaining sauce for serving.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes — depending on the thickness of the fish — or until fish is firm and almost opaque all the way through (and reads 135F on an instant thermometer). Serve with the reserved chimichurri sauce. I love serving this dish with creamy polenta and slow roasted tomatoes.