Friday Supper: Almond-crusted fish with saffron sauce served with Excelsior Viognier

This is a traditional Italian favourite – a classic Venetian dish dating back to the 14th century. And it’s ready in just 20 minutes! Serve with Excelsior Viognier.

Why is this the right wine choice? Viognier is very good with  fish and seafood in creamy sauces, particularly when flavoured with saffron. Beware though, it’s unhappy with strongly flavoured fish so avoid mackerel, snoek, sardines and marlin.

To serve 2 you will need:

  • 2 sea bass fillets, about 175g/6oz each
  • a little softened butter
  • 2 rounded tbsp toasted flaked almonds
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 150ml fresh fish stock
  • small pinch saffron strands
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche

For excellent fresh fish in Cape Town contact Julie Carter from Ocean Jewels on 083 5820829 or

What to do:

  1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Season the fish and spread a little butter over the flesh side of each.
  2. Put in a shallow, buttered, ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the flaked almonds, lightly pressing them on. Bake for 12-15 mins until the flesh flakes easily.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Gently fry the shallot with a small knob of butter in a small pan. Add the stock and saffron, bring to the boil, then boil until reduced by about two-thirds. Stir in the crème fraîche and bubble for a minute or so until slightly thickened. Pour a little sauce around each portion of fish. Lovely served with tiny, buttered new potatoes and green beans, or a fresh green salad.

Adapted from Good Food magazine


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