Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Dinner for one - Sea Bass Fillets with Spinach, Tomatoes and Ouzo

Yes, dinner for one. Phill was away this weekend which means fish for dinner. Normally fish is off the menu, which is such a shame so when it is just me to be looked after and I can make the kids their favourite pasta and I can settle down to something just for me. And it always has to be fish.

I think my favourite fish is sea bass, though to be honest it would be a really difficult choice. It reminds me of Greek holidays and being sat at a beach side taverna, nursing a Mythos and watching the sun down, devouring some wonderful Aegean sea bass with a piquant sauce. Absolute heaven.

There are so many recipes that involve the whole fish but I wanted something involving the fillets, seeing as I had the fish already filleted in freezer I also wanted something tasty, quick and fresh tasting. This was a recipe that I found whilst mooching on the internet and as I had all the ingredients I would have been a fool not to have given it a whirl. And, guess what... it's relatively healthy too, that is 'healthy' compared to most of the recipes on this blog. 

The recipe calls for 'anise' flavoured liqueur, of which there are several. Ouzo was my drink of choice.

You could eke this out to serve two by the addition of rice or potatoes, but I just wanted fish and only fish, so for that reason this served one.

Sea Bass with Spinach, Tomatoes and Ouzo, adapted from The Essential Diabetes Cookbook by Antony Worrall Thompson

Serves Mum, but could serve another with an accompaniment.


1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Small pinch of dried chilli flakes
250g spinach, tough stems removed, shredded
Small pinch of grated nutmeg
2 fillets of sea bass, about 175g each, skin on
1 1/2 tablespoons ouzo
1 1/2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
A sprinkling of flaked almonds
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat half the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and, over a gentle heat, cook until the garlic turns golden. (but not burnt; watch carefully!) Add the chilli flakes then the spinach and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on some nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Set a colander over a bowl and drain the spinach well, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible. Retain the liquor and set aside, and keep the spinach warm.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan heat the remaining oil and cook the fish skin-side down over a medium heat for 4 minutes until the skin is golden and the flesh has nearly cooked through. Turn the fish over then add the Ouzo and white wine and cook until the liquid has nearly (but not totally!) evaporated. It won't take long so watch carefully.

Remove the fish and keep warm.

To the fish pan, add the spinach liquor and boil vigorously to reduce a little. Add the tomatoes, flaked almonds and tarragon and cook for 15 minutes until slightly thickened.
Taste and adjust the seasoning appropriately.

Pile the spinach on a warmed plate and rest the sea bass fillets on top. Spoon the sauce over the fish and around the side of the dish.

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