Sea bass with rocket

For a simple yet stylish dish try Gennaro Contaldo's pan-fried sea bass, served with a flavourful rocket sauce
By Gennaro Contaldo
Sea bass with rocket
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 4 sea bass, skin on
  • salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 25 g butter
  • 4 tbsp white wine

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 15 g butter
  • 3 tinned anchovies
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 medium courgette, finely chopped
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 200 g rocket, (ideally wild rocket), roughly chopped, plus a few handfuls of rocket to serve
  • salt, and freshly ground pepper

Tips and Suggestions

Add a little extra-virgin olive oil to any remaining sauce to make rocket pesto, delicious with pasta


1. First make the sauce. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter in a saucepan.

2. Add in the anchovy fillets and cook, stirring, over a gentle heat until they have almost dissolved into the oil.

3. Add the shallots and courgettes and cook until the shallots begin to soften. Add in the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for a minute.

4. Stir in the chopped rocket, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and simmer for a further 2 minutes.

5. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then whiz it in a blender until smooth.

6. Return to the pan and stir over a high heat with a wooden spoon until nearly all the liquid has evaporated and the sauce becomes creamy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

7. Season the sea bass fillets with salt and freshly ground pepper.

8. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan.

9. Add the sea bass to the pan, flesh side down, and cook over a moderate heat for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.

10. Turn the fillets over and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes. Then turn the fish over again and peel off the skin.

11. Add the wine, cover with a lid and cook for a few seconds. Uncover the pan, turn the fillets over, cover with the lid again until the wine evaporates.

12. Meanwhile, reheat the sauce gently, arrange some rocket on a serving plate, top with the sea bass fillets and pour the sauce over the fish. Serve at once.

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