Lawrence Murphy: Baked bream with pink grapefruit

Pink grapefruit sprinkled with brown sugar and put under a hot grill used to be on the menus of many restaurants in England in the 1970s.

Saturday, 9th July 2016, 6:06 am
Baked bream grapefruit saffron sauce

And if you were lucky a glacé cherry was put in the centre.

Thankfully we have come a long way since those days and the grapefruit has lost its appeal with customers and chefs alike.

This citrus fruit is mainly used for breakfast where it is juiced or segmented but certainly not grilled.

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Personally, I like the tangy bright fruit because of its beautiful colour and the fact that there is a little sweetness to the high acidity.

It makes a fantastic dressing that cuts the oil of cured or smoked salmon.

In this recipe I have added saffron for a slightly more exotic feel to a silky butter sauce to go with baked bream and roasted salad onions.

Sea bream, with its stunning silver skin and white flesh has enough oil in it to require the acidity of the grapefruit.

You could easily use any oily fish such as herring or mackerel instead of the bream.

However, if you have the opportunity to purchase red mullet this would be my fish of choice.

This is a lovely light summery dish full of flavour that is ideal for eating outside.

Baked bream

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 bream fillets scaled and pin-boned

2 pink grapefruit

1 shallot finely chopped

50 ml white wine

Pinch saffron

75g butter (cut into small cubes and kept cold in the fridge)

Bunch of salad onions split in half



1. Cook the chopped shallot in a knob of butter until soft.

2. Add the white wine, saffron and zest and juice of one grapefruit.

3. While you reduce the liquid by two thirds segment the other grapefruit.

4 Lay the bream on a tray, season and bake in a hot oven for eight minutes.

5. On a separate tray put the salad onions in the oven after four minutes.

6. Push the reduced grapefruit juice mixture through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan.

7. Put back on to the heat and whisk in the chilled butter in small quantities (do not allow the mixture to boil as it will split).

8 Put the grapefruit segments on to warm plates and add the onions. Spoon the sauce around the plates and top with the bream.