Main course

Sea bass Tony Blair

This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver’s The Return of the Naked Chef where chef gives it the lengthy title ‘Roasted slashed fillet of seabass stuffed with herbs, baked on mushroom potatoes with salsa verde – a la Tony Blair’. It dates itself as Jamie Oliver comments that this was cooked for Tony Blair and presumably Silvio Berlesconi. We just call it ‘sea bass Tony Blair.’

Oliver wrote of the original:

“This is something I cooked for Tony Blair and the Italian Prime Minister at the British/Italian Summit last year. It went down a treat so I thought I’d put it in the book.”

The salsa verde given with the Naked Chef recipe was that of Jamie Oliver himself. The Oliver version cuts a few corners, so we have gone back to the recipe provided by Italian ‘autentico‘ Anna Del Conte.

Tony Blair, 1953–. Prime Minister of United Kingdom 1997–2007

Sea bass Tony Blair

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By Jamie Oliver & Anna Del Conte Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 20 mins


  • For the fish:
  • 4 225g sea bass fillets
  • 1 handful mixed herbs (green or purple basil, flat-leaf parsley, thyme), roughly chopped
  • 1kg potatoes scrubbed
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 knobs butter
  • 455g mixed, preferably wild, mushrooms, torn
  • 3 lemons
  • For the salsa verde:
  • A large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves (about a whole supermarket plant).
  • A handful of white breadcrumbs
  • Half a hard-boiled egg
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small handful of capers, washed
  • 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 pickled cornichons or 1 gherkin
  • 3 white anchovy fillets, or 6 of the brown ones from a jar or tin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100ml or so of the best extra virgin olive oil you can find (I am very lucky to get some pressed by my father's friend in Bordeaux)


For the fish:


Heat an oven to 240˚C.


Insert a bit of greaseproof paper on the bottom of a baking tray, rubbed with olive oil. Slash the fish fillets about halfway down and stuff with the herbs. Wash the potatoes and slice them lengthways, just under a 1/2-inch thick. Dry them off with kitchen paper and very lightly coat them in olive oil. Mix in half of your finely chopped garlic, season with salt and pepper, then lay them out in one layer on the tray. Cook the potatoes in the oven for around 15 minutes until just cooked. Remove and put to one side.


In a pan add the remaining garlic with 2 good knobs of butter and a good lug of olive oil. Fry your mixed mushrooms and season until tasty. If water comes out of them just continue cooking until it evaporates. Take the pan off the heat, squeeze in the juice from 1 lemon and stir in another knob of butter. Now scatter the mushrooms over the potatoes and kind of rub them in on top, underneath, all over. Place your sea bass fillets on top, Now bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the tray, cover the top with foil and let sit for about 5 minutes during which time all the juices will run out onto the potatoes. Serve it with the salsa verde, half a lemon each and a crisp white wine.

For the salsa verde:


Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor.


Gradually add the oil until you have the consistency you want (like porridge is best). You may need to scrape the mixture down from the sides of the bowl once or twice.

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