John Toulze




Chef John Toulze
the girl & the fig and Estate | Sonoma

Sautéed Maryland Wild Striped Bass, Ragout of Salsify, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Bloomsdale Spinach and Vin Blanc

Chef John Toulze of the girl & the fig and Estate – Sonoma, CA
Adapted by
May 2009

Yield: 4 Servings


    Vin Blanc:
  • 1 whole shallot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon whole butter
  • 1 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 whole white peppercorns
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • 6 ounces Bloomsdale spinach

  • 1 pound salsify
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 2 ounces clarified butter
  • 8 ounces black trumpet mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 pound Bloomsdale spinach
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • 2 ounces whole butter

    Striped Bass:
  • 4 ounces clarified butter
  • 4 bass filets, skin on (about 6 ounces each)
  • Salt
  • White pepper


For the Vin Blanc:
Sauté the shallot in butter over medium heat until translucent. Add the vermouth and reduce until almost dry. Add the thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns to the mixture and reduce the heat. Add the heavy cream and simmer until slightly thickened. Season with salt to taste. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and purée with the spinach.

For the Ragout:
Peel the salsify, quickly placing it whole in a mixture of equal parts milk and water. Covering the stalks with a napkin, submerge the salsify into the milk mixture to prevent oxidation. Season the liquid with salt and gently heat to a simmer, removing the salsify carefully when tender. Cool the salsify completely and slice diagonally.

Sauté the salsify in clarified butter over medium-high heat until caramelized. Add the black trumpet mushrooms and continue to sear, adding the spinach last. Season with salt and white pepper to taste; finish with the butter.

For the Striped Bass:
Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat and season the filets with salt and white pepper. Add the clarified butter to the pan followed by the filets, skin-side down, and sauté until the skin is browned. Turn the fish over and sauté for approximately ½ the time of the skin-side or until just cooked.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place the ragout in the center of the plates and the sauce around the ragout. Set the sautéed bass filets on top of the ragout and serve.


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   Published: May 2009