Pan-Seared Sea Bass with Smoky Romesco Sauce and Parsnip Purée



  • 1 lb. sea bass
  • 1 lb. spinach
  • 1 ½ tsp. canola oil 
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper

Smoky Romesco Sauce Ingredients 

  • 1 ¾ cups red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded
  • 1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups tomatoes, roasted, peeled, quartered
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or chipotle powder
  • 3 ½ tbsp. raw almonds, sliced
  • 1 ½ tsp. garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 ¾ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ¾ tbsp. sherry vinegar

Parsnip Purée Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ lbs. parsnips, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¾ lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Pinch of ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425º F. Preheat large oven-safe sauté pan over high heat. Add a small pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper to both sides of sea bass fillets. 
  2. Add 1 tsp. of canola or olive oil to pan, then gently lay the fish in the pan and sauté for approximately 3 minutes. Use a spatula to gently turn the fillets over and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Place fish in the oven and bake until cooked through, about 5 minutes. 
  3. For the spinach, preheat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add ½ tsp of canola oil. Add the spinach to the pan and cook until completely wilted, stirring continuously, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. 
  4. To serve, spoon Parsnip Pureé into the middle of each of four plates and top with the fish. Ladle Smoky Romesco Sauce over the fish and top with wilted spinach. Garnish the dish with freshly zested lemon and toasted sliced almonds.               

Smoky Romesco Sauce Directions

  1. Core tomatoes and then score tops with a shallow X. Coat lightly with oil. Place on a baking sheet and roast in oven until skin starts to wrinkle, about 6-7 minutes. 
  2. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Once cooled, gently peel and remove the skin from the tomatoes, starting at the concerns of the X and pulling down. Discard the skin. 
  3. Lightly coat peppers with oil. Place whole peppers on a baking sheet and bake until the skin splits and the peppers begin to wrinkle, about 12-14 minutes. 
  4. Carefully transfer peppers to a paper or plastic bag, seal, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Remove from bag; peel, seed, and core peppers. 
  5. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Make sure to cover the blender tightly and start blending on low, gradually increasing speed as needed. 
  6. Pour into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepot and simmer for 10-12 minutes over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning as desired. Remove from heat and serve. 

Parsnip Purée Directions

  1. Put the parsnips and potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover the tops and bring to a boil. 
  2. Reduce heat to low-medium simmer and cook until completely tender, about 30-40 minutes. 
  3. Drain the potato/parsnip mixture into a colander or other strainer, then place into a food processor or an electric mixer along with the salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. Alternately, a hand-cranked food mill (ricer) works very well for mixing and mashing. 
  4. Hold warm until ready to serve. 

Nutritional Key: Calories/Carbs/Proteins/Fat/Fiber 259/28/26/5/7