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21 Club's Grilled Black Bass with Asparagus & Lemon Caper Vinaigrette

Grilled Black Bass with Asparagus.jpg
By Executive Chef John Greeley
(Serves 4)


Black Bass

  • 1 oz grapeseed oil
  • 2-3 whole black bass, scaled, and filleted with skin on
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pinch piment de’despelette (a robust, smokey Basque pepper similar to paprika
  •  4 lemon wedges
  •  4 oz. herb salad (mix of micro herbs or blend of soft herbs like chervil, tarragon, and chives)

  • 8 pieces jumbo asparagus, peeled, split down the middle
  • 1 oz. diced tomato, peeled

     Lemon and Caper Vinaigrette

  • 3 oz. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons (squeeze out juice, remove seeds, reserve skin for zest)
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest (use a micro-plane to grate zest off lemons)
  • 1 oz. capers, washed and patted dry
  • 1 Tbsp. micro-chives, sliced thin or cut with scissors
  • 1 Tbsp. chervil, chopped, without stems

 In a bowl or airtight container, mix all ingredients together.


Preheat grill or build fire and let ash over, clean grill grate really well and wipe down with a touch of grape seed oil on a rag.

2.       Boil salted water in a large pot, enough to easily fit the asparagus without the ends sticking out of the pot.

3.       To prevent the fish from sticking to the grill, season bass filets with salt and brush each filet with grape seed oil.

4.       Place fish on grill, skin side down. Place a sprig of fresh thyme on top and cook 4-5 minutes.

5.       Place asparagus into boiling, salted water and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.  Remove while hot and place on warm plates.

6.       Return to the fish, remove thyme and gently turn fish over on the flesh side and grill until just cooked through, about another 2-3 minutes, depending on grill temperature.  (You can check the fish with a cake tester by inserting it into the flesh.  If the cake tester slides easily into the fish, it’s done.)

7.       Remove fish from grill and place on warm plate with asparagus.  Drizzle fish with lemon and caper vinaigrette and season with some piment d’espelette and sea salt.

8.       Garnish with herb salad and lemon wedge.

Address: 21 W 52nd St., between 5th Ave. and Ave. of the Americas
Phone: (212) 582-7200

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