Simple Sea Bass with Sauce Vierge

We all know we should be eating more fish.  Especially after the holidays most of us are feeling a bit over indulged.  But many people feel that cooking fish can be troublesome: there is the smell, and the bones and the not overcooking it.  And then what do you serve with it so that isn’t boringly healthy?

I have two solutions to this dilemma:  Sea bass fillets and Sauce Vierge.

Sea bass fillets have hardly any bones and are wonderfully easy to cook using this ingenious method from Pierre Wynants, former chef at Comme Chez Soi restaurant in Brussels.  It all but eliminates the smell and takes the guesswork out the cooking time.

Sauce Vierge is an easy, Provencal-like sauce that is served room temperature and has no butter or creme.   It is made from fresh or tinned chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs.  A simple yet delicious sauce.

In under 30 minutes you will have a  ‘Comme Chez Soi’ meal, which means as if the chef cooked for you at his home.  And if you are really pressed for time, try the Troisgros’ Tomato Vinaigrette Sauce which requires no cooking at all.

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Simple Sea Bass with Sauce Vierge
This simple and delicious way of cooking Sea Bass comes from Pierre Wynants the former chef of Comme Chez Soi restaurant in Brussels. Sauce Vierge is a Provençal-style sauce which is rather like salsa without the chilli!
Instructions
  1. Combine the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, lemon juice and rind, olive oil and coriander in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and turn off heat.
  2. Just before serving add the fresh herbs and salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper. Place the fillets in a sauté pan - skin side down - that will hold them in one layer. Add the stock and wine and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover the pan with a piece of buttered aluminium foil and cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat. Remove from pan, place on paper towel skin side up. With a butter knife remove the skin and place on warmed plates.
  4. Dress each fillet with the Sauce Vierge. Serve with steamed potatoes or creamy soft polenta and lightly blanched snow peas .
Recipe Notes

Adrienne added minced lemon rinds to her version.  I have a habit of saving lemon rinds after squeezing the juice out and putting them on the grill.  The smoky, slightly caramelized, taste from the grill works beautifully in this sauce.  Feel free to include your own additions, capers or chopped black olives would work with the Provençal theme.

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Click here to download a pdf of Simple Sea Bass Sauce Vierge

 

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