Sea Bass with Garlic Spinach and Chive Butter Sauce

Butter sauces are one of the foundations of French cuisine and who better to show us how to make them than Michel Lemoine
By Michel Lemoine
Sea Bass with Garlic Spinach and Chive Butter Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the sauce

  • 150 ml white wine
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • 5 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 250 g unsalted butter, diced
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives
  • 1 tbsp finely diced tomato flesh

For the fish

  • 4 fillets sea bass, descaled
  • 2 tsp butter

For the spinach

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 300 g spinach leaves

Tips and Suggestions

To make the finely diced tomato flesh (also known as tomato concassé) score a cross in the base of a large tomato and cover with boiling water from the kettle. Leave for 30-45 seconds, then drain and when cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin of the tomato. Cut the tomato into wedges and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. You can then cut the flesh into small pieces.


1. To make the sauce, boil the wine, vinegar, shallots, thyme, and bay leaf together in a saucepan until the volume of liquid has reduced by two-thirds. Gently whisk in the diced butter, adding a few lumps at a time. Season with salt and pepper, then strain the sauce through a sieve. Mix in the chives and tomato. Set aside in a warm place but do not let the sauce boil or it may split.

2. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Smear the butter over the skin. Prepare a steamer with boiling water, place the fish in the steamer basket and cook for 4-6 minutes (the exact time will depend on the thickness of the fish).

3. Meanwhile, cook the spinach. Melt the butter with the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes on a low heat without letting the garlic colour. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To serve, place the spinach on warm serving plates. Lay the fish on the spinach and pour the sauce over the fish.

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