Levi Roots's escovitch seabass

/ 24 February 2016

Try Levi’s delicious fish dish for yourself!


Oil for greasing

2 x 1kg (2lb 4 oz) seabass, gutted, scaled and gills removed

¼ tbsp salt

1 ½ tsp pepper

 ½ lime 

2 spring onions, trimmed

4 sprigs of thyme

1 hot red chili (ideally Scotch bonnet), deseeded and thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil, to glaze (optional)


For the Escovitch:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm (1in) chunks

1 orange pepper, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm (1in) chunks

1 red onion, cut into 2.5cm (1in) chunks

1 hot chilli (ideally Scotch bonnet), deseeded and thinly sliced

2 tsp cider vinegar


  • Preheat the over to 190 °C/375 °F/gas mark 5. Lightly oil a baking sheet and put the fish on it. Mix together the salt and pepper and use most of it to season inside both fish. Squeeze the half-lime into both cavities as well. Bash the spring onions with the handle of a heavy knife to release their flavor. Put 1 spring onion and 2 sprigs of thyme inside each fish along with half the chilli. Make 3 diagonal slashes through the skin of each bass on the uppermost side only and season with the remaining salt and pepper. Put in the preheated oven and cook for 30-35 minutes, until the flesh is soft, tender and cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the esovitch. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and stir fry the peppers, onion and chilli for about 4 minutes, until softened but still slightly crunchy. Add the vinegar and stir into the vegetables for 10 seconds or so. Turn off the heat.
  • When the fish are cooked, brush them lightly with olive oil to make them look glossy, if liked. Arrange the esovitch vegetables over and around the fish. I like to this straight away, hot; you can also have it at room temperature or cold.
  • Serves six