Ingredients for 4 people
4 (organic) lemons
3-4 tbsp sugar
Splash of aromatic gin
1 large or 2 small seabass with head, scaled and cleaned
1⁄2 preserved lemon
10 begonia flowers + extra for garnish
1⁄2 spring of parsley
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sumac
How to make it
Slice three lemons into paper-thin slices and then narrow strips for the dressing. Boil the strips in plenty of water for 15 minutes and then drain. Slowly bring the lemon slices to the boil in a pan with the sugar, gin and 250 ml water. Cook for 30 min. until the mixture is slightly syrupy. If you find it’s too dry, add some water. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Meanwhile cut the last lemon into thin half slices. Place the fish on a baking tray covered with baking parchment. Use a sharp knife to make diagonal cuts in the seabass, and insert the lemon slices in these cuts. Also fill the abdomen and head with the lemon, then sprinkle the fish with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Grill the fish for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and just cooked.
Remove the flesh of the preserved lemon and cut the rind into very fine strips. Cut the begonia flowers into very fine strips and stir through the lemon and gin dressing together with the preserved lemon. Pluck the parsley leaves and puree with oil and some salt to make a smooth oil. Pour the dressing generously over the fish and drizzle with the parsley oil and some sumac. Sprinkle this fabulous fish dish with edible begonia flowers*.
The finishing touch
The begonia flowers lend the perfect finish to this main course, because the fresh acidity of the flower petals fit perfectly with seabass, just like the lemon. The cheerful colours with the dressing look even better on a special plate. Enjoy!
*Note: make sure you always use edible flowers and plants. Discuss this with your florist.