When it’s summertime, I usually have a jar of olivada in the refrigerator. It’s a briny mixture of olives, pine nuts and garlic – perfect for the heat when we crave salt. Its flavors are sharpest when the olivada is freshly made, and we enjoy it simply slathered on bread or crostini with a chilled glass of rosé. The longer the olivada sits in the refrigerator, its flavors mellow and soften, losing some of its pungency. Then I will toss it with pasta or sprinkle it in salads or over pizza. It’s also a handy garnish for meats and fish. I used the last bit of our latest batch of olivada on these sea bass filets. The salty olives and crunchy pine nuts were a perfect accompaniment to the flaky olive oil roasted fish filets and sweet tomatoes.
Roasted Sea Bass with Olivada and Tomatoes
Halibut or swordfish may be substituted for the sea bass. Serves 4.
4 one-inch thick sea bass filets, about 2 pounds
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup olivada
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley or pea tendrils as garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Arrange fish filets in one layer in a baking dish. Scatter the tomatoes around the filets. Drizzle fish and tomatoes with olive oil, turning the filets to coat. Spread the olivada over the tops of the filets. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish and tomatoes. Sprinkle with pepper and a little salt (the olivada will also add salt). Bake in oven until fish is just cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve hot garnished with parsley.