Sea bass with courgette sauce

Sea bass with courgette sauce

The Islands of Greece
Steven Joyce

This is another recipe inspired by one given to me by Georgia Tsara from Selene restaurant on Santorini. Their incredible version of this dish also contains courgette flowers and beautiful burghul croquettes, and I certainly recommend making a pilgrimage to the restaurant to try it.

The courgette sauce may be very simple but is packed with fresh springlike flavours and would work with any white fish. I like to serve it with chicory (Belgian endive), fennel and pea shoots, cooked for a minute or two in a little butter.


Quantity Ingredient
1/4 fennel bulb
1 lemon, halved
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large courgette, grated
40g butter, plus more for the fish
90-100ml single cream
1 tablespoon mint leaves
freshly ground black pepper
4 fillets sustainably-sourced sea bass or other sustainable white fish fillets
50-60g pea shoots
head chicory, leaves separated


  1. Finely slice the fennel bulb, then toss with a little lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Set aside.
  2. Scatter the salt over the grated courgette and toss it all together. Set aside for 5 minutes, then squeeze the liquid out of the courgette gently (discard the liquid).
  3. Melt 30 g of the butter in a pan set over a low heat and add the courgette. Cook very gently until soft, stirring often; do not allow the courgette to brown. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible, then add 90 ml of the cream to the pan and simmer very gently for 3–4 minutes.
  4. Place the mint leaves in a little boiling water and let stand for 30 seconds. Strain, then tear the leaves into pieces and add them to the pan. Using a hand-held blender, blend to form a smooth sauce. If it seems too thick, add a little more cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cover and keep the sauce warm while you cook the fish.
  5. Melt a little butter in a pan wide enough to take all the fillets. Season the fish lightly and place, skin side-down, in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium- low and cook for about 3 minutes, until the skin is golden brown, turn and cook the other side for a minute or two, until the fish is just cooked.
  6. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 15 g of butter in a wide pan over a gentle heat. Add the fennel, pea shoots and chicory and cook, stirring, until just coated in butter and beginning to wilt. Remove from the heat.
  7. Spoon the sauce into warm bowls. Top with the buttered vegetables then lay the fish on top, skin side up.
The Islands of Greece
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