Fish Baked in Celery, Leek & Fennel Sauce

Fish Baked in Celery, Leek & Fennel SauceCelery adds a wonderful freshness to dishes. Here I sauté it with fennel and leeks then made a creamy white sauce, which I spoon over fish fillets and bake to make a warming and easy winter meal. For a complete meal, serve with a baked potato and a steamed green vegetable or a salad of mixed leaves.

This sauce is so good that you will be thinking of other ways that you can use it. One of the other ways I love to use it, is to add cooked macaroni, then pile into a dish, scatter with grated cheese and
sprinkle with paprika and bake until hot and bubbly – now that’s a classy mac ‘n cheese!

It is also delicious mixed with other vegetables such as potatoes,
kumara or pumpkin and once again topped with cheese and baked to make a main dish featuring vegetables.

Fish Baked in Celery, Leek & Fennel Sauce

I also like to stir chopped parsley through the cooked sauce – however, parsley seems to be a bit scarce in these parts at the moment – none of the local growers seem to have any, so I am just having to make do
without it until reappears.

Serves 4

4 x 150g firm white fish fillets
3-4 sticks celery, diced – about 1 cup
4 baby leeks, sliced
2 baby bulbs fennel, chopped
30g butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
1 lemon
sea salt and black pepper
smoked paprika

1              Preheat oven to 200°C.

2              For the sauce, place celery, leeks, fennel and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until vegetables soften.

3              Gradually stir in flour, then constantly stirring, add milk and continue cooking and stirring constantly until sauce boils and
thickens. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

4              Place fish in a baking dish, spoon over sauce, sprinkle with paprika and bake for10-15 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork.

So tell me, how do you think you might use this vegetable and flavour packed sauce?

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Fish: Tangaroa Seafoods – Napier; Fennel, leeks, celery: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Milk: Origin Earth – Havelock North; Smoked Paprika: Orcona Chillis ‘n’ Peppers – Hastings; From the garden: lemon; Store Cupboard Ingredients: butter, flour, salt, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

Would you like to receive more great recipes and news from Rachel’s Kitchen NZ?

Subscribe to Rachel’s Kitchen NZ for daily updates via email. Just enter your email address and press ‘Subscribe’.

[email-subscribers namefield=”YES” desc=”” group=”Public”]


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Other recipes using celery you might like to try:

Braised Lamb with Celery & Celeriac

Braised Lamb with Celery & Celeriac

Celery, Onion, Pancetta & Tomato Braise

Celery, Onion, Pancetta & Tomato Braise

Celery Risotto

Celery Risotto


6 thoughts on “Fish Baked in Celery, Leek & Fennel Sauce”

Comments are closed.