Recipe courtesy of Jill Davie
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1 hr 25 min
25 min
1 hr
8 servings


Vegetable tian:
For the striped bass:
Homemade Herb Oil:
Basil Cream:


Vegetable Tian: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch rounds. Liberally coat the eggplant in herb oil and season with salt and black pepper. Spread the eggplant out in 1 layer in a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes or until they are fully cooked and soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the sliced onion, fennel, and thyme and allow the mixture to cook while stirring frequently. Once the onions and fennel have wilted, about 5 minutes, add the sugar and continue to cook until all excess liquid has dissolved and the mixture begins to caramelize on the bottom of the pan. This takes about 30 minutes. Add the golden raisins. Deglaze the pan with the Champagne vinegar and mix well. Mix in the toasted pine nuts and remove any stems of the thyme. Let cool.

Place the roasted eggplant rings on sheet pan spaced equally apart. Top off each ring with the onion and fennel mixture, forming a flat base for the zucchini, yellow squash and tomato slices. Alternate the zucchini, yellow squash and tomato slices around the top of the onion and fennel mixture by layering each piece on top of one another in a circle, tucking under the last piece to form a full, cohesive circle. Top each tian with herb oil, salt and black pepper. Place in the oven to heat for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

In a pot over medium heat, heat the basil cream and check for seasoning.

Preheat a grill to high.

Working with the skin side up, use a sharp knife and cut on the bias, to make an incision in the center of each fillet. The incision should not go all the way through to the other side, but should create a pocket. Stuff each incision with a healthy pinch of the fennel tops. Season each fillet with salt and pepper and coat them with homemade herb oil. Grill over high heat. Each fillet will take approximately 6 to 8 minutes to cook (3 to 4 minutes on each side).

Using a spatula, carefully place a vegetable tian on each plate. Pour the basil cream around each tian. Place 1 of the striped ref="" class="crosslink" debug="2184 2196">bass fillets on each plate. Garnish the plate with the remaining fennel tops.

Homemade Herb Oil:

Place the rosemary and the olive oil in a blender and cover. Blend on high speed until the roasemary has been ground into small pieces. Add the tarragon and thyme and continue blending until all the herbs have been broken down into small pieces. Pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Basil Cream:

In a saucepot, add the white wine and garlic cloves. Over medium heat, allow the wine to reduce by half. Add the cream and salt and bring to a boil. Add the basil to the cream and allow it to cook for 1 minute, making sure it is fully immersed so no browning occurs. In a blender, blend the cream mixture in a medium sized batches on high until the mixture is bright green (about 2 or 3 minutes).

Immediately pour the cream into a container resting in ice to chill. Stir constantly. Continue this process until all the cream is blended and cooled rapidly.

Cook's Note

Be aware that when purchasing the following items you try to get them all to be the same in diameter for presentation.

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.

When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.

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