Whole Sea Bream with Rocket, Rosemary and Garlic Pesto

I needed an uber-simple but ultra-healthy supper last night. Hubby was going to yoga (very impressive) and I was very tired. Fish and broccoli was the plan, but how to make it delicious as well as speedy?  Here’s what I did:

(There are a lot of instructions but each one takes about 5 seconds.)


  • 2 whole sea bream, gutted and cleaned
  • 2 generous handfuls of purple sprouting broccoli.
For the pesto
  • 1 or 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves not stalk
  • 1 handful fresh rocket
  • Fresh garlic (about the size of a penny)
  • 1 clove black garlic, optional
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • Half a fresh, mild chill, or about 10 drops Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Generous glug of XVOO (3 tablespoons or so)
  • Water for consistency


  1. Heat the oven to its highest setting (around 250′ and let it warm up properly.
  2. Put an inch of water in your steamer at the same time and heat gently.
  3. Snip the bottoms off the broccoli spears and place in steamer basket to one side.
  4. Place all pesto ingredients in your nutribullet cup with enough water to allow it to liquidise without blowing up.
  5. When the oven is really hot put your sea bream on a baking sheet, slightly salt the skin and place it in the oven. It will only need about 10 minutes so keep an eye on it.
  6. Set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes.
  7. Turn the heat up under the steamer.
  8. When the timer goes off check that the bream is starting to colour a little and the skin is lifting away from the fish just slightly. If not wait until it is before moving to the next stage.
  9. Now, set the timer again for 4 minutes.
  10. Place the broccoli on top of the steaming steamer.
  11. Whizz the nutribullet to make the pesto.
  12. Set the table.
  13. Remove the fish from the oven when you can see the fins and tail are turning brown, the edges are starting to colour, and the skin is looking a little bit crisp.
  14. Serve with broccoli and dress with pesto.


You can really chuck most things into a pesto like this, depending on what’s in the fridge.

  • Black olives would have been a welcome addition
  • Tarragon instead of rosemary?
  • Basil, coriander, lime and sesame oil might have given a Thai touch
  • Wild garlic and parmesan
  • A dash of sherry or balsamic
  • I did have some rhubarb but decided against – I poached it with some satsuma and will have that for breakfast instead!

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