In season from August to December this fabulous fish, a rare and special treat, deserves to be treated with respect. Cook it simply as described below and, after that, use every bit of the remains to make a delicious and nutritious stock.
See Sherbhert https://www.sherbhert.com/simple-fish-stock/
Fishmongers are typically very helpful about how much fish you need and how best and how long to cook it, so ask for help when buying for your particular dinner if you need to. The fishmonger will also clean and descale the fish for you. As a guide you will need 1.5kg whole fish to feed 4.
A large whole wild sea bass (about 1.5kg) descaled and cleaned
2 tbsp olive oil
A small bunch of rosemary or thyme
2 tsp of salt flakes
6 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp of sultanas in sherry if you have some.
See Sherbhert https://www.sherbhert.com/left-over-christmas-booze-and-dried-fruits-make-some-luscious-treats-to-embellish-simple-foods
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Use the oil to grease a dish or roasting pan large enough to hold the fish. Or, if you don’t have a large dish or pan, use a double layer of oiled foil to hold the fish and put it on a baking sheet.
Tuck the rosemary or thyme inside the cavity and sprinkle the salt flakes, sherry vinegar and, if you like, the sultanas, over the fish.
Cover the fish with foil and secure it to the dish or roasting pan or baking sheet.
Bake the fish in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Check to be sure it is done – it should feel hot to touch – the skin will peel away easily and the flesh underneath the skin will be opaque. Test for this on a small part of the thickest part of the fish.
Serve it hot, with seasonal salad or vegetables – maybe the leek and rocket salad in these pages and some roast potatoes with garlic or herb mayonnaise.