Seasonal Sea Bass and Cockles in Ramp Broth

Spring is here and the local waters are filling with our two fin favorites- striped bass and black sea bass. Pair these fish with some fresh clams and bright spring vegetables for a light, bright meal perfect for the season.

This recipe can work for more than just bass! Start with any flaky white fish like sea bass or halibut—they steam up perfectly with this easy go-to recipe you can turn to all through the warmer months. For our seafood broth, we use cockles which are a smaller, sweeter clam from the northern coast of New Zealand, but they can easily be interchanged for local littleneck clams or mussels.

Take advantage of the spring’s best vegetables like foraged ramps, spring garlic, and asparagus for a simple yet complex broth boasting the fresh scents and colors of the season. Serve family-style and let your guests dig in, great for lunch or a light dinner. Substitute the fish fillet for sweet black tiger shrimp, mix in any other veggies you prefer and hit refresh on this easy, elegant spring dish.

What You’ll Need:
4 8-10 ounce striped bass fillets or similar white fish
2 pounds cockles
1 bunch ramps, sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 bunch asparagus
5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

What to Do:
Prep your seafood: Rinse cockles in cold water to wash away any sand. Pat sea bass dry fillets with paper towels, cut in half, and season with salt and pepper.

Blanch asparagus in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Drain and chill.

In a dutch oven or large sauté pan, over medium heat, add olive oil and ramps. Sauté for a minute. Nestle fish in pan and add cockles. Pour the white wine into the pan and cover.

After a few minutes, turn heat down to low and simmer for a total of 10 minutes, shaking pan occasionally. Carefully fold in asparagus and allow to rest covered for a minute.

Remove fillets and place in a large serving platter. Arrange cockles and vegetables on platter and add broth from pan to the platter.

Looking for more seasonal dishes? Check out our soft-shell crab sandwich recipe here.