Wild Striped Bass with Cilantro-Onion Salad and Yogurt-Avocado Purée

Wild Striped Bass with Cilantro-Onion Salad and Yogurt-Avocado Purée

Wild striped bass has a clean and assertive taste that is great with the strong flavors of Southwestern cooking. In this dish I like the combination of the rich avocado purée with the fresh, bright tasting cilantro and onion. You have the option of purchasing farmed or wild-caught striped bass. While I prefer the flavor of the wild fish, the farmed fish is fine and is widely available.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Four 5-ounce portions skin-on striped bass fillet
  • Leaves from 1 bunch fresh cilantro about 3 cups loosely packed
  • 1 small onion, very thinly sliced
  • Chipotle Tabasco sauce, optional

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

For the avocado purée, cut the avocado in half and discard the seed. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh (make sure to scrape the inside to get all the dark green stuff right next to the skin) into a small bowl; add half of the lime juice and the yogurt. Season to taste with salt and mash together to create a thick sauce. It should be about the consistency of tomato sauce.

For the fish, heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place the fish, skin side down, in the pan. Cook over high heat until you see the sides of the skin begin to brown, then, without turning the fish, transfer the pan to the oven and cook 12 minutes per inch of thickness.

Meanwhile, for the salad, mix the cilantro and onion in a medium bowl and dress with the remaining lime juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt.

To serve, spoon a dollop of the avocado purée onto each plate and, using the back of the spoon, push it across the plate to create an attractive swoosh.

Place a fish fillet on the sauce with the skin side up and garnish with the cilantro salad. If you like heat, I suggest a few drops of chipotle Tabasco sauce as an addition to the plate. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve.

Serves 4

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