Sea Bass With Fava Beans and Mint

Spanish fish recipe for sea bass
Delicious sea bass and fava beans. Brett Stevens on Getty Images
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 filets (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
352 Calories
15g Fat
40g Carbs
18g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 filets (4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 352
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 154mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 13g 46%
Protein 18g
Calcium 79mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Spring in Spain is a cornucopia of fresh produce, and the markets come alive with fruits and vegetables in every shape and color. Some of the most delicious springtime treats are fresh fava beans, which peak in late May and early June. These creamy beans are incredible when prepared correctly, and here they are allowed to really shine when cooked in extra virgin olive oil (confit-style) and served with onion, mint, and sea bass. 

Using extra-virgin olive oil (Spanish, preferably) is very important to how this dish turns out. The beans and onions are slowly cooked covered in olive oil, and it is this cooking liquid that finishes off the final dish. 

Wild sea bass (lubina salvaje) is suggested for this dish, but other types of bass or hearty white fish may be substituted. Meat lovers may also like to add chopped cured ham to garnish the top of this delicious dish. 


  • 4 filets of wild sea bass (or about 8 ounces of fish per person)
  • 2 cups of fresh fava beans (also known as broad beans)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 lemon (sliced thin)
  • 2 tablespoons mint (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup​ Extra virgin olive oil 
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • Optional: 5​ tablespoons Chopped cured ham (Serrano or Prosciutto)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Begin by dicing the onion and the mint, and slicing the lemon.

  3. Heat a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high. Add a couple of tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and the diced onion and fava beans. Add a dash of salt, give a quick stir, and then cover the onions and beans with olive oil, until they are almost fully submerged. Lower the heat to low and allow the onions and beans to slowly cook in the olive oil (confit-style). After about 20 minutes the beans should be tender. 

  4. While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a baking dish and place the fish on top of the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with the thin slices of lemon and add a bit more salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. 

  5. Bake the fish for about 15 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the filets. 

  6. Once the fava beans are completely tender, add the chopped mint and take off of the heat. Cover and let rest. After about five minutes, taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. 

Serving Suggestions

To serve the fish with fava beans, place the cooked fish filets on a serving dish and, using a slotted spoon, top with the fava beans and mint. Add a bit of the cooking oil on top. Decorate with additional sprigs of mint, if you wish. If using the chopped cured ham, you may also sprinkle on top of the fish. If you prefer, you may quickly sauté the ham first, and place it atop the fish still warm.