Sea bass with lemon, vermouth and spinach

/ 1 September 2016

I love this dish because it is so simple. The juices in the parcels from the vermouth, lemon and basil mixed with the butter is so delicious with the sea bass. Spinach is just right with this dish but you could also add a few lentils.

Serves 2

75g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 sea bass fillets, about 180g each
2 slices unwaxed lemon
4 basil leaves
100ml dry white vermouth
200g fresh spinach
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C. Fold over two sheets of foil into large squares and butter the shiny sides.
  • Place a fish fillet, skin side up, on each buttered square of foil. Top each fillet with a slice of lemon, 2 basil leaves and 25g butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Fold the sides of the foil up around the fish and pour half of the vermouth into each pocket. Leave to settle for a few seconds, then crimp the foil edges together to seal.
  • Set the foil parcels on a baking tray and bake for 10–12minutes. Check to see if the fish is cooked by carefully opening the parcel and piercing the fish with a sharp roasting fork: if it goes in with no resistance the fish is ready.
  • While the fish is in the oven, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add some salt, then place the spinach in the pan and cook for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and squeeze or press out the excess water (do not refresh the spinach as this will dilute the taste). Season the spinach if required and add a dash of olive oil. Keep hot.
  • Once the fish is cooked, strain the juices from theparcels into a saucepan (set the fish aside in the foil to keep hot). Bring to the boil and reduce by half, then add the remaining butter.
  • Serve the sea bass topped with the butter sauce and with the spinach alongside.