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La Belle Cuisine
daurade royale rôtie à la sarriette
et au gingembre
(Roasted Royal Sea Bream with Savory
Roger Verge's New
Entertaining in the French Style
by Roger Verge, Pierre Hussenot, Photographer,
September 1997, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Inc.
Cooking: 35 minutes
Cost: Moderately expensive
Yield: 6 servings
royal sea bream, 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 pounds (2 - 2.5 kg)
and pepper, to taste
bunch fresh savory [Another herb may be
if fresh savory is not available.]
tablespoons olive oil
ounces (90 g) fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoons butter
The royal sea bream is one of the most noble saltwater
can save a bit of money if you fish for it yourself. It can be
by its steel-gray color and slightly truncated pug-nosed
snout topped by a
slight golden bump. Ask the fish merchant to scale
and gut it.
Savory is also known as “pèbre d’ase: (“ass’s pepper”) at the
Provençal farmers markets.
I prefer Thompson oranges for this recipe, as the oranges should
2 hours ahead:
Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the sea bream.
with several stems of savory and spread the remainder in an
even layer on
a baking dish. Place the fish on top of the savory and
sprinkle it with
oil. Put 3-4 tablespoons of water on the bottom of
the dish, making sure
it doesn’t come in contact with the fish. Set
platter in a cool
area, but not in the refrigerator.
and finely grate the ginger. Grate the zest of 1/2 orange. Cut off
of the 3 oranges. Section the oranges over a bowl to catch the
minutes before serving: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (240 C).
minutes before serving: Bake
the sea bream for 15 minutes (10
minutes for 2 smaller fish). Lower the
temperature to 350 degrees F
(180 C) and cook for 20 minutes more. Check the
fish: if the water
has completely evaporated, add a bit more.
before serving: Put the
reserved orange juice in a small saucepan
with 1 pinch of salt. Bring to a
boil. Cut the butter into small pieces and
briskly whisk it into the
boiling juice, stirring constantly until the sauce
the grated ginger and orange zest. Do not allow the sauce to boil.
orange sections in a sauce boat and pour the sauce on top.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
the sea bream is cooked, present it on an attractive hot platter.
to the table accompanied with the sauceboat of ginger-
The sea bream can be replaced with any other firm-
fleshed saltwater fish
such as red snapper or sea bass.
suggestions: Choose a
round, dry white wine, such as a Pouilly-Fumé
(Loire) or a Hermitage, or
a northern Côtes-du-Rhône white, a bit spicy with
a complex nose. These
wines should be served at 46-50 degrees F (8-10 C).
Featured Archive Recipes:
Dorade Farcie Grillée
(Grilled Stuffed Sea Bream)
Blanquette de Loup de Mer aux Poireaux
(Sea Bass in White Wine with Leeks)
Roger Vergé's Recipes from the Heart of France
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