Fish in Almond Sauce

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 45m

Serves 4

This simple taberna dish features the classic Catalan nut sauce known as picada. With its heady mixture of nuts, bread and garlic, picada is evidence of the Arabic influence in Spanish cooking. Merluza (hake) is traditionally used in this dish, but you may substitute cod, sea bass, flounder or other firm white fish.


  • For Almond Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Pinch of saffron threads, crushed (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 1 cup fish stock or dry white wine
  • 1 cup shelled peas, optional
  • For Fish:
  • 4 firm white fish fillets, each about 5 ounces (see note above)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley or mint


FOR ALMOND SAUCE: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and place in the oven until toasted and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

Place 1/4 cup of the almonds aside to use for garnish. Finely grind the remaining almonds using a food processor fitted with the metal blade or a nut grinder. Be careful not to overgrind to a paste. Set the ground nuts aside.

Warm the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the paprika, garlic, ground almonds, bread crumbs and the saffron, if using. Sauté for 3 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and stock or wine and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

If using the peas, bring a saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the peas and boil until barely tender, about 3-6 minutes.

FOR FISH: Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Sprinkle the fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Spoon the sauce over the fish, add the peas, if using, and bake in the oven until the fish is opaque throughout, about 10-12 minutes. Garnish with the reserved toasted almonds and the parsley or mint. Serve at once.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 682

nutrition information per serving

415 calories; 25g total fat; 85mg cholesterol; 302mg sodium; 15g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 34g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.