Kelp-Wrapped Sea Bass with Sunflower Chimichurri and Green Harissa Ranch - Modern Farmer

Kelp-Wrapped Sea Bass with Sunflower Chimichurri and Green Harissa Ranch

This recipe will keep fish tender while they cook. If you can't find fresh kelp, substitute sheets of dried nori.

So for this seaside dinner, hosted by Walrus and Carpenter in July 2016, he sourced nearly every ingredient from producers within a 50-mile radius. Yet the resulting menu hopscotches the globe, incorporating Southeast Asian and Argentine influences – not to mention Rojas’ own Mexican roots. Turns out big flavors pair perfectly with the bounty of the country’s smallest state. Read more about Rojas’ ocean-to-table dinner at Rhode Island’s Walrus and Carpenter in “On Ninigret Pond” from the Summer 2017 issue of Modern Farmer. And don’t miss his other recipes, either!

 

Kelp-Wrapped Sea Bass with Sunflower Chimichurri and Green Harissa Ranch

A local fisherman speared two Rhode Island sea bass the day before the dinner. Wrapping the fish in sea kelp – farmed by Walrus and Carpenter – kept them tender while cooking. If you can’t find fresh kelp, substitute sheets of dried nori.

  • 2 head-on wild sea bass (each 3 to 4 pounds, scaled, or 6 to 8 sea bass fillets (each 6 ounces), skinned)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked white pepper
  • Fresh kelp* or dried nori seaweed sheets*
  • Sunflower Chimichurri ((link below))
  • Green Harissa Ranch ((link below))
  1. Preheat oven to 400 ÌŠF. 

  2. Meanwhile, coat whole fish or fillets with oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and wrap with kelp or nori; if wrapping whole fish, start just below the gills and end at the base of the tail. 

  3. Transfer to a large, foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and cook whole fish until the thickest part of the flesh is firm to the touch, about 15 minutes; or cook fillets until white and flaky, 6 to 8 minutes. 

  4. Once cool enough to handle, remove kelp (nori can be eaten or removed) before serving with Sunflower Chimichurri and Green Harissa Ranch on the side.

*A one-pound bag of fresh kelp from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables costs about $28 (plus shipping); seaveg.com. Nori sheets can be found in most grocery stores or at amazon.com; you’ll need about 10 sheets to wrap the fish.

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