Fish with Sage and Runner Beans (Filetto di Pesce alla Salvia)

At Angiolina, a bit South of Naples, I enjoyed fish fillet pan fried in batter with sage. I liked this somewhat unusual combination of fish and sage very much, and so decided to prepare something similar at home. According to the menu verdure di stagione (seasonal vegetables) were included, which was runner beans tossed with olive oil. The type of fish wasn’t specified on the menu, and this will work with any white saltwater fish like cod or hake. In this case I used haddock (schelvis in Dutch).


For 2 servings

300 grams (.66 lb) fish fillets like cod, hake, or haddock

450 grams (1 lb) runner beans

fresh sage

1 garlic clove

1 egg

125 grams (generous 3/4 cup) flour + more for dusting

250 ml (1 cup) water or milk

salt and freshly ground black pepper

olive oil


Season the fish on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover, and refrigerate for at least half an hour. This will season and firm up the fish.

Meanwhile, clean the runner beans. Remove the ends and chop them into 2 cm (1 inch) lengths.

Boil the runner beans in salted water until they are tender but still firm to the bite, about 15 minutes. Drain them when they are done.

To make the batter, combine flour, egg, and water or milk in a large bowl…

…and whisk until there are no more lumps. This is like making pancake batter. To prevent lumps, it helps to start with only about half of the water or milk and stirring with a spoon initially. Once it has been mixed, add the remaining water or milk and continue with a whisk.

Dust the fish with flour, shaking off excess.

Dip the fish into the batter, and stick fresh sage leaves to the fish on both sides. Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the fish fillets in a single layer.

Cook over medium-high heat until both sides are golden and the fish has just been cooked through. The cooking time will depend on the thickness. Do not overcook the fish.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in another frying pan and add the clove of garlic to flavor the oil. Once the garlic is golden…

…add the drained runner beans, and toss them to coat them with the oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Discard the garlic.

Serve the fish with the runner beans.



Celeriac and smoked eel work very well together, and in this recipe I added hazelnuts to the mix and created a restaurant style appetizer. The celeriac is prepared in three ways: as a very smooth creamy puree, smoked cubes, and as a crispy chip. The smoked eel is used to fill ravioli. This isn’t a pasta dish, as the dish only includes two ravioli. The dish has a very limited number of ingredients, but it is elegant and sophisticated all the same.


9 thoughts on “Fish with Sage and Runner Beans (Filetto di Pesce alla Salvia)

  1. Must admit sage is not the first herb which comes to mind when cooking fish . . . must try ! And when copying, should I use runner beans they will be steamed . . . have not boiled a vegetable for decades . . . ! Like to keep my vitamins with my food 🙂 ! Looks appetizing . . . thanks for the idea . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just planted two varieties of sage on my back deck so I’m all set for this recipe. Have you ever tried microwaving sage leaves? They dehydrate to a wonderfully crisp treat and they maintain their gorgeous green colour. I did a post about it called crispy sage. I think it would make a gorgeous garnish for this dish.
    Sorry, I haven’t been around, I’ve been ill, we are still trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I’m trying to catch up, but I hope you understand.


    1. No problem. So sorry to hear you’ve been ill, and it’s worse if you don’t know what’s wrong. Although the dish is quite rustic, the garnish of crispy sage would be nice. I have used the microwave to crisp up prosciutto. Now I have to try it with sage.


  3. Hi Stefan! I really like this recipe! Cod is very popular here in mid west (runner beans a little less common, let’s say in eight years I’ve never seen it anywhere 🤦🏼‍♀️) but I definitely want to try the combo cod/sage… sounds super good!

    Liked by 1 person

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