Striped Bass with Heirloom Tomato Scampi:

To cook the Rockfish: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat. Season 4 striped bass fillets (6 ounces each) liberally with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the grated zest of 1 lemon and juice. Once the oil begins to shimmer, place the fillets skin-side-down in the pan and let them cook, without moving them, until the skin is crisp and golden brown, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Give a light push to loosen the skin from the pan. Add 1/2 bunch thyme sprigs to the pan. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove fish from the oven and transfer to paper towels.

To make the scampi: In a large skillet, heat 3 tbsp Roasted Garlic Oil over medium-high heat. Add the 6 garlic cloves finely chopped, 2 shallots finely diced, and 1 tbsp fennel seeds (toasted in a dry skillet) and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the 4 celery ribs sliced and 1 tbsp chopped capers and cook until the celery has softened, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 c. dry white wine to the pan and cook until it is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, grated lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon, 3 lbs mixed heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges, and 1 c. tightly packed hand-torn fresh basil leves and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to incorporate the flavors and heat the tomatoes through. Serve the rockfish fillets topped with the tomato scampi.

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