The Buttery Almond Sauce To Pair With Lean Fish

When we asked Tasting Table readers about their favorite kind of fish to cook at home, the top two answers weren't a huge surprise; salmon and tuna topped the list — probably because they're both so flavorful and versatile. Leaner white fish like tilapia and cod didn't fare as well, however. This might be because preparing them well is more demanding — they're often in need of an infusion of flavor.

Fish that's low in fat is an outstanding source of protein, but even WebMD notes that it's an ideal option for those of us who want to eat more seafood but don't really care for fish. Varieties like tilapia, cod, flounder, and sole are so mild that it can take a bit of effort to kick up the flavor. Fortunately, there's one classic sauce worth mastering that will transform your lean fish from humdrum to outstanding. After all, if it's good enough for Julia Child, it should be good enough for anyone.

Almondine is exactly what your lean fish needs

Legend has it that it was sole meunière that truly began Julia Child's love affair with French cuisine. The dish is straightforward — white fish pan-fried in a lemon-butter sauce. An elevated version of this sauce is almondine, which involves toasting sliced almonds with the butter in the pan before adding the lemon juice. 

Almondine has all the tart, rich goodness of the original, plus a craveable crunchy texture. The sauce makes up for what lean fish lacks — flavor and fat. And better yet, it isn't limited to seafood like trout, flounder, or tilapia. Far from it! It's also a divine way to jazz up green beans.

Although almondine (which is sometimes spelled "amandine," after the French name for the preparation) is easy to make in terms of its ingredients, a little experience is useful to ensure those humble components combine flawlessly. Perfectly browned butter, just-done lean fish, lightly toasted almonds, and lemon juice added at just the right moment join together to create a simple yet elevated meal.