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Cairo Kitchen
Serves 6 as part of a mezza selection

Mediterranean sea bass is known in Egypt as ‘arous’ or ‘loot’ and is
usually eaten fried, cooked in the oven or added to soups. For this
recipe, we are using small pieces of sea bass and combining it with
baba ghanoush to be eaten as bite-sized mezza.

Posted by Hardie Grant from London, United Kingdom • Published See Hardie Grant's 83 projects » © 2024 Suzanne Zeidy / Hardie Grant Books · Reproduced with permission. · Cairo Kitchen by Suzanne Zeidy (Hardie Grant, £25.00) Photography: Jonathan Gregson
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

  • Step 2

    To make the baba ghanoush, roast the aubergines for about 30 to 35 minutes until they are really soft on the inside, then peel them when they are cool enough
    to handle.

  • Step 3

    Mash the aubergines well with a fork and mix in the diced pepper. Season with salt and add the lemon juice, tahina paste, olive oil, vinegar and crushed garlic and combine well. Set aside to cool.

  • Step 4

    Cut the sea bass into strips, about 2cm x 10cm, leaving the skin on.
    In a dish, mix together 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, cumin, lemon juice, coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Add the sea bass strips and marinate for about 10 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Cut the pitta breads into 10cm circles and fry in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil for a couple of minutes until golden.

  • Step 6

    Remove the sea bass from the marinade and pat dry on paper towels. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the fish, skin side down, until the skin is crispy, then turn to the skinless side and lower the heat
    to cook for 1 minute.

  • Step 7

    To assemble, place a dollop of baba ghanoush on the pitta bread circles, scatter with the pomegranate seeds, place a sea bass strip on top and garnish with the rocket and fresh dill.

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