Ollie’s Sea Bream and legendary Watermelon salsa

Watermelon Salsa and Sea Bream

This watermelon salsa will soon become a “go-to” addition to your repertoire. A crisp texture, bracing acidity, the sweetness of the melon, the coolness of the mint….it has it all. A perfect summer accompaniment.

Bream is a delicious oily fish, usually fished in the Mediterranean where it is at its most popular. Sea bass has always been on trend in the UK, but bream offers far more bang for buck. It is less meaty, but the flavour is delicious and it is very workable: 1 fillet makes for a nice portion. I’m not always a fan of pan-frying fish, as it can feel a bit aggressive compared to poaching or steaming. Bream, however, is brilliant in a hot pan or barbecue, with crisp skin and the flesh-side lightly toasted.

Season the bream quite lightly as they are thin fillets, and colour in a hot pan: skin-side down first for about 2 mins to get a nice golden colour and crisp skin, then flip over and give just 30 secs on the other side.

Remove from the heat and remove the fish from the pan and transfer to a plate. Deglaze the pan with the juice of about a quarter of a lemon. This will make a nice glaze for the fish; pour it over the skin of the bream then season lightly with Maldon salt.

Enjoy with a very chilled Verdejo, which like the bream, also offers bang for buck and is best enjoyed in the summer months.

500g     Watermelon, chopped roughly 1cm

6 sprigs Mint, small leaves picked and large leaves roughly chopped (save any neat buds for on top)

1          Red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped

1          Bunch of spring onion, finely sliced on the angle and kept in iced water

1           Lime, grated zest and juice of

60g       Olive oil

2 tbsp   Chardonnay vinegar (or 1 just tbsp. if using white wine vinegar, which is more acidic)

1 tsp Sugar

½ tsp Salt

-           Carefully mix all together, then leave for 30 mins for the flavours to meld. Serve alongside the fish.


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