This delicious baked sea bream recipe is from the “Veneto” cookbook which is a collection of recipes with their roots in the countryside around Venice and many associated with the authors family and grand parents. She comments on this recipe:

Potatoes that have had time to cook under the saline juices of saltwater fish are in a league of their own. They gain flavour and tenderness and, at some point during the roasting process, they cease to be their own entity and become one with the fish.

Valeria Necchio Veneto

About The Author Valeria Necchio

Valeria is an Italian born food and travel, writer and photographer. Her work has been featured on a number of publications including Food52, Kinfolk, The Guardian and Die Zeit. She is a food columnist for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

This baked sea bream recipe comes from her new cookbook “Veneto” which is published by Faber & Faber. The book is full of recipes that capture the spirit of this often unexplored region and the authors memories of the people and places that make the Veneto so special.

You can find out more about Valeria on her blog:

Ingredients For Baked Sea Bream

Quantities here are for four people

45ml | 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
800g | 1lb 12oz (about 5 medium) waxy potatoes, peeled
2 medium sea bream from Walter Purkis & Sons (about 600g | 1lb 5oz each)
60ml | ¼ cup dry white wine
Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 unwaxed lemon, to serve

Of all the types of bream to be found at the market, gilthead bream is, I believe, the tastiest.
Late spring and summer are when to make the most of it, though sea bass can be substituted just fine. Ask your fishmonger for guidance.

Valeria Necchio

You can find plenty of  Gilthead Sea Bream on our counter. It’s named after the little gold bar on its forehead. In France, it’s called daurade (or dorade) royale and in Spain Dorada.

Cooking Method For Baked Sea Bream

Preheat the oven to 200°C | 390°F | gas mark 6. Brush the bottom and sides of a large baking dish with olive oil. Slice the potatoes very thinly with a mandolin and arrange them in the dish, brushing each layer with oil and seasoning it with a pinch of salt and a turn of the pepper grinder. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse the bream under cool running water and pat dry. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and pan-fry the fish for 2 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and transfer into the baking dish, on top of the potatoes. Pour in the wine and cover with foil once again. Bake the fish for 20 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.

When baking whole saltwater fish such as bream or bass, allow about 10 minutes for every 2.5cm | 1 inch in thickness, or about 20 minutes for every 500g | 1lb 2oz.

Serve the sea bream filleted, with the potatoes and a lemon wedge.