In Venetian cooking, saor, meaning “sour”, is a tart, slightly sweet marinade for fish—in this case, striped bass.
Striped Bass in ‘Saor’
In Venetian cooking, saor, meaning "sour", is a tart, slightly sweet marinade for fish.
Yield: serves 2
For the Garnish
- 1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
- 1 leek, white part only, finely julienned
- 6 fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, washed and dried
For the Fish and Sauce
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp. dry red wine
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. pine nuts
- 1 tbsp. golden raisins
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 2 (8-oz.) striped bass filets, with skin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the garnish: Heat vegetable oil in a small heavy saucepan over high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Place half the leeks in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and repeat with remaining leeks. Add parsley, fry for 10 seconds, and remove immediately. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- For the sauce: Cook onions in 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, until soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in vinegar, wine, sugar, pine nuts, raisins, orange zest, and another 1 tbsp. of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Season fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear fish skin-side-down in remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes. (Don’t allow oil to reach smoke point; fish will curl.) Turn fish and sear 1 minute more.
- To serve, spoon half the onion mixture onto each plate and place fish on top, skin side up. Garnish with fried leeks and parsley leaves.