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sea bass with spinach

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Sea bass baked with spinach

I’ve always loved spinach. I loved it even back in the day I had to cook it constantly to feed my daughter, a non-eater, her at least half-a-day. Spinach was nearly the only veg that actually went down as opposed to being played with and pushed around the plate. I might have easily hated it after that but no – love endured.

I like to cook real spinach when I can – grown in soil and showing it, covered in mud or sand. You have to wash it forever, but it’s so much tastier than the weirdly clean, anaemic leaves sold in supermarkets that shrink from a pound to a spoonful when cooked.

Apart from being rich in iron it also has lots of vitamins C and K and some fancy scientific soundings nutrients called ‘glycoglycerolipids’ which help protect the lining of the digestive system from inflammation. Great stuff. And another good thing about it is that prepared as below, it keeps the fish succulent and moist even if you use defrosted fillets.

Fish baked under spinach

Sea bass or bream will go best here, but do use any white fish fillets or even salmon. Just adjust the cooking time if fillets are very thick.

sea bass with spinach


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large sea bass fillets
  • ½ cup double cream
  • a little grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp corn flour
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 100g blue cheese – Stilton, Gorgonzola or Roquefort
  • 200g fresh spinach or frozen, thawed
  • a little lemon juice
Fish fillets and spinach


METHOD

Prepare the spinach sauce: bring the cream to the boil in a medium sized pan, add the grated nutmeg, season with salt and pepper. Let it bubble for a couple of minutes so it thickens and cooks down. Mix the corn flour with a little water and stir into the cream. Add the grated parmesan, the blue cheese, stir well and cook for a few minutes over low heat.

Spinach sauce

If you are using fresh spinach wash it well and blanch or wilt it in the microwave, squeeze out the moisture and chop quite finely. If frozen, thaw it as much as time allows. Add the spinach to the cream sauce, squeeze in some lemon, stir well, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the spinach is tender.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Prepare a baking dish large enough to contain the bass fillets laid side by side. Spread a third of the sauce on the bottom, place the fillets on top of it and cover them with the rest of the sauce.

Preparing bass and spinach

Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending how large the fillets are. One of those giant fish slices will be handy to lift the fillets with the spinach sauce onto plates.

I serve it usually on its own, maybe with some extra broccoli or green beans, but a nice mash will go with it a treat.

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