Sea Bass With Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

This was supposed to be halibut with lemon-basil vinaigrette, but for some reason, it's always my luck that Whole Foods never has the kind of fish I'm looking for on the night I'm looking for it. Nor did they have the recommended backup fish selections. So I went out on a limb and, with consensus from my boyfriend, chose sea bass to fill in.

This recipe comes from The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh. I recently got this cookbook and already have several recipes on my "to make" list. My favorite thing about it is the serving size index. If I want to make dinner for two, I can turn to the Two Serving heading and find all the recipes meeting my need. This recipe below was actually for four but I altered it, using less vinaigrette ingredients and only two pieces of fish. Sea bass is quite expensive!

Grilled Sea Bass With Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette (adapted from Bon Appetit and made for two)

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
1 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil or 3 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoons drained capers

2 5- to 6-ounce sea bass steaks (about 3/4 inch thick)

Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic clove and grated lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Stir in 1 tablespoon fresh basil and capers. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Season sea bass steaks with salt and pepper. Brush fish with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette, dividing equally. Grill steaks in grill pan over medium-high heat until just cooked through, about 4-6 minutes per side. Transfer fish to plates. Rewhisk remaining vinaigrette; pour over fish. Garnish fish with remaining basil and serve.

The only strange part was that I wasn't sure whether brushing the fish with the vinaigrette included getting some of the basil and capers on it. I decided to try to add these chunky elements to the fish, but it would have been easier to cook it without them. And the basil did get a little brown, and some of it stuck to the pan.

We enjoyed the fish with some leftover potatoes, but we both decided it was just a little too lemony. Next time, I'll cut back on that.

Note: Using my new book Knives Cooks Love, I learned a great way to cut herbs. For something like basil, you stack the leaves on top of each other, roll them lengthwise into a tight cocoon, and then slice the roll so you have nice shreds.