Pan-Seared Sea Bass with Cannellini Bean Stew – A simple healthy Mediterranean -style meal that can be made in under 30 minutes. ( Allow 12 hour soaking period if using dry beans.)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup peeled, diced carrot ( 2 carrots)
- 1 cup diced celery ( 2 stocks)
- 3–4 smashed and roughly chopped garlic cloves
- 2 cups diced tomatoes ( or one 1 can, diced)
- 3 cups cannellini beans (2 cans rinsed and drained) or 1 ½ cups dried beans, soaked overnight.
- 2 –4 cups chicken stock (2 cups if using canned beans, 4 cups if using dried beans)
- 1 cup water (only if using dried beans)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh sage (or thyme, or rosemary)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
- 4 four-ounce sea bass fillets ( or thick-cut true cod, escolar, halibut, black cod)
- oil, salt and pepper for fish
- Italian parsley for garnish (or make leek oil or gremolata)
- In a medium-large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, and stir for two minutes. Add carrots, celery and garlic, turn heat to medium and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If using canned beans, add them, along with the 2 cups stock, herbs and tomatoes, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, if using dried beans, make sure to soak them in ample water overnight or up to 24 hours. (This will prevent gastric issues and shorten cooking time. ) After the carrots, celery and garlic have been sautéing for 5 minutes. Add the dried, soaked beans and 4 cups stock. Add 1 additional cup water. Add the herbs and salt. Bring to a boil on high heat. Cover, turn to low heat and let simmer 1-1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender, adding more water if needed. Then add pepper and tomatoes. Continue simmering another ½ hour. If the stew is too brothy for you, leave the lid off and keep it at a gentle simmer, letting it reduce a bit- however, I really enjoy it a little brothy.
- Pan Sear the fish: Heat 1-2 T olive oil in a cast-iron skillet, over medium-high heat. Pat dry fish with paper towels and season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Sear each side until a golden crust forms on the fish, and turn the heat down to cook through to the desired doneness, taking care not to overcook.
- Place the stew in a wide shallow bowl, top with seared fish and garnish with fresh Italian parsley.
- If feeling fancy make Gremolata or Leek Oil and drizzle over top.
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