Gourmet Galley: Fish with greens, sauce

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNISTilapia on Arugula With Béarnaise Sauce features either pan sautéed or grilled fish set on a bed of peppery greens and topped with a tarragon-flavored sauce. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNISTilapia on Arugula With Béarnaise Sauce features either pan sautéed or grilled fish set on a bed of peppery greens and topped with a tarragon-flavored sauce.

Fish topped with a good sauce and served over fresh greens can make a light meal memorable.

What prompted me to put this combination together was my coming home with a container of fresh baby arugula. Arugula is a now-popular salad green with a bitterish or peppery mustard flavor. It’s also called “rocket” and is often included in bags of mixed lettuces. If you prefer greens that are not as strong flavored, you can easily substitute baby spinach for the arugula in this recipe.

There are different varieties of baby arugula. You will see different colors, from bright to darker green, and leaves that are feathery, spiky or with more rounded tops. The younger the leaves the milder the flavor, but those of us who like that tart, bittersweet flavor like all varieties.

Whip up a quick béarnaise sauce to top the fish and lightly dress the fresh greens. And I mean quick because I make my sauce in a blender or food processor. Béarnaise is a French butter and tarragon-flavored sauce which goes well with meat, fish, vegetables or even eggs.

The béarnaise recipe I prepared will make more than you need for two servings, but use the leftover on other meats, fish or vegetables dishes during the week. When topping the fresh greens with the warm fish, the heat from the fish wilts the greens underneath and the béarnaise sauce ties all the flavors together.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.