Posted by: acooksca | 05/03/2010

Green Pea Olive Oil Sauce for Fish

Green Pea and Olive Oil Sauce

Sweet green peas are the very taste of  Springtime. In this simple recipe peas are quickly cooked and pureed to form an elegant, fresh tasting sauce for fish. Olive oil binds the flavors and incorporates the ingredients into a light textured sauce.

At Elderberry House Restaurant in Oakhurst, California such a sauce is used with pan seared halibut. Make an accompanying risotto, rice or grains side dish. Flavor it with something earthy like mushrooms or black olives or herbs as a counterpoint to the bright pea taste of the sauce. By properly salting the side dish the sweetness of the sauce will be enhanced as well.

Cook the rice or grains first, then make the sauce and keep it warm while the fish is cooking. The sauce is fresher tasting if it isn’t reheated. Salmon, cod, halibut, sole or scallops would be delightful in this preparation. Choose a thin filet to cook quickly in butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.


1 plus 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
2 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
½ c. chicken stock
½ cup green peas (fresh or frozen, thawed)
½ c. fresh young spinach leaves, stems removed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a small sauce pan over medium high. When hot add 1 tablespoon oil, shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring often so it doesn’t stick, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and reduce heat to a simmer. Add the peas and simmer just until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Do not over cook or you will loose the fresh flavor and color.

Stir in the spinach and cook one more minute. Immediately transfer to a food processor or blender and puree at high speed until very smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Keep sauce warm as you cook the fish. Spoon onto heated plates, top with the rice or grains and lay the fish on top. Serve at once.

Yield: 1 cup, serves two


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