The delicate flavour and texture of silvery-skinned European sea bass is highly sought after in restaurants and, increasingly, for home cooking. To meet the demand the fish, which is rather like white-fleshed salmon, is now being farmed.
Although some menus promote whole baby sea bass and serve one per person, the fish should be around 1.5kg in order to develop a good flavour, and can be as large as 4.5kg.
Sea bass is at its best treated simply, preferably roast, grilled or barbecued to give the skin a pleasing crackle, but sometimes steamed or poached, especially if it is a large specimen.
Serve roast sea bass with rosemary sauce, or a combination of olive oil, capers, garlic and lemon.