This beautiful dish from Chef Carlos Montoya tastes like the essence of late summer and is not difficult to make with a little advance planning. The sauce is an easy puree of marinated tomatoes; leave some unpureed and use the mixture as an alternative topping for the fish if you can’t find the other garnishes. Use very fresh local striped bass from our fish markets for the crudo, or feel free to lightly poach the fish slices before plating. Castelvetrano olives are bright green and available at Cronig’s and Morning Glory.

Serves 2

1 eight-ounce filet striped bass, skin removed and sliced into thin pieces
1 recipe Heirloom Gazpacho Sauce (see below); you will have leftovers
1 recipe Castelvetrano olive puree (optional, see below) or a few sliced Castelvetrano olives
Your choice of garnishes: currant tomatoes or very small cherry tomatoes, halved; cucamelons, halved, or finely diced cucumber; jalapeno, thinly sliced; petite basil leaves; freshly squeezed lemon juice; a flavorful extra-virgin olive oil

To assemble (or plate) the crudo, spoon a few tablespoons of sauce onto and down the middle of a dinner plate. Arrange about six striped bass slices on top of the sauce and season the fish with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the fish, squeeze a bit of lemon over all, and garnish with small dollops of Castelvetrano olive puree (if using) and your other garnishes. Repeat with remaining fish and garnishes on another plate. For the Castelvetrano olive puree:

1/2 cup castelvetrano olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate if making ahead.

Heirloom Gazpacho Sauce

This versatile puree is great with shrimp, seared sea scallops, or swordfish, as well as striped bass.

Yields 3 to 4 cups

3 large or 4 medium heirloom or other juicy ripe beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 3/4 lb.), cut into medium dice (about 4 cups)
1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into medium dice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
6 large basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 large shallot, minced
1 tablespoon chopped Kalamata olives
Kosher salt
Fresh pepper

In a large non-metal mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, sherry vinegar, basil, parsley, shallot, chopped olives, a sprinkling of salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Stir together, cover, refrigerate, and let marinate overnight. 

The following day, add the tomato mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. (Do in batches if necessary.) Refrigerate sauce if making ahead.

This recipe first appeared with this article.