Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Healthy and tasty: Sea bass with crushed potatoes and sauce vierge

on January 10, 2012

This is one of those – looks fancy, tastes delicious but is actually very quick, simple, and low in calories. So pretty much perfect for January. It would also be good for a dinner party main if you wanted something fancy but light and didnt want to cook ahead.

I had no idea what sauce vierge was – so I sort of combined two sauce vierge recipes as they were quite different, based on what I had in the cupboards. Turns out, I did well, as since then I found this explanation on wikipedia which basically says its a sauce with olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes and basil. I put all of them in mine. And I think once you have that base you can add a whole variety of other things.

To reduce calories and fat further I used low fat spread in the potatoes instead of butter, I used a little bit of oil with the fish instead of butter again and I added water to my sauce instead of extra oil to thin it out.

The original recipe is here and in searching for more about sauce vierge, I actually came across a very similar Jamie Oliver recipe. This one may actually be just about do-able in 30 minutes! Probably more realistically 40 though.

I also substituted different herbs for what I had. I used dill in the sauce and rosemary in the potatoes. It worked very well, but Im sure tarragon and chives are equally good. All those herbs and great flavours (lemons, fish) make for an extremely tasty dish that doesnt feel at all like youre on a diet but is great for both detoxes and losing weight.

If you want to know – theres 402 calories per serving in my recipe – and thats a complete meal. Which is great for dinner. The calorie counter grades it an A in terms of nutrition (the only thing higher is A+) and is high in selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. So its packed with antioxidants, seratonin boosters and things to help ward off infections. What could be better?! And you definitely feel pleasantly full after, so no temptation to snack (put that quality street box out of eyesight!).

Sea bass with crushed potatoes and sauce vierge

Serves 2

  • 6-8 new, baby or other small potatoes (although if you have big ones, it doesnt matter, just cut them up smaller), halved or quartered if larger
  • 1 bunch of asparagus – woody ends snapped off
  • 1/2 tbsp low fat spread
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, choppped
  • 5 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes or 2-3 larger tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • handful of chopped fresh dill
  • handful of chopped fresh basil
  • salt pepper
  • 2 sea bass fillets, skin on, pin boned.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Boil the potatoes (skin on) until cooked – about 15-20 minutes.
  3. When the potatoes are nearly done, drop the asparagus into the water as well, to blanche. Remove when cooked and refresh under cold water.
  4. Meanwhile, put 1 tbsp of the olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes and shallots in a pan and set over a low heat, stirring occasionally until you have a nice thickish sauce. This will take about 15 minutes.
  5. When the sauce is reduced, add some water if its too thick and add the herbs and seasoning into the sauce. Stir well, adding more water as necessary until you have a dropping consistency sauce.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a pan, on medium. Dry the sea bass with kitchen towel and season. Place skin down in the pan. Fry for 3-4 of minutes skin side down until nice and crispy, then put in the oven for a further 3-4 minutes. When its done, turn off the oven and turn the sea bass over so its skin side up. Leave in the oven until ready to serve.
  7. Drain the potatoes and lightly crush them with a fork and the margarine. Add some seasoning and the rosemary, crush a little more until you have what looks like very bad mashed potato.
  8. Place the potatoes in the centre of the plate making them flat-ish. Place the fish on top and the asparagus to the side. Drizzle over the sauce. And serve, perhaps with a lovely glass of crisp white wine – as you’ve been very good with your calories!
  9. Enjoy all the wonderful flavours 🙂

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