Buerre Blanc with Lemon Verbena & Cilantro for White Fish

by on February 3, 2012

The best part about growing herbs at home is that it is a great source of inspiration for dinner. My cilantro was flowering and it needed to be used. I had also been wanting to use the lemon verbena (native of Chile and called cedrón) growing in my yard.   If you’ve ever smelled lemon verbena, you know how incredible a scent it has. I highly recommend that everyone grows this herb. It is magnificent.

I did a Google search for these ingredients and I stumbled upon a recipe from I’m a shoot from the hip kind of cook and I like to use other recipes for inspiration and guidance and then adjust based on the ingredients I have and my personal taste. Here is my version of the cilantro and lemon verbena sauce.

If you’d like to grow lemon verbena, you can probably find it at your local nursery. It is hard to find seeds for lemon verbena because it grows slowly. You can also propagate it from cuttings.

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided  (2 tablespoons for sauté and 5 for emulsifying)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 1  cup white wine
  • 3/4 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (packed) lemon verbena leaves (stems removed)
  • 3/4 cup (packed) cilantro leaves
  • Cilantro flowers – put in separate bowl to be used for garnish
  • 1 tsp. salt (and to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan and sauté the shallot until it’s translucent.
  2. Add the white wine, lemon juice, and salt cook until it’s reduced by almost half.
  3. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the remaining  five tablespoons of butter. The sauce will emulsify.
  4. Set it aside into a smaller sauce pan (off of heat).


  1. Choose a mild white fish – this sauce is enough for 1 to 1.5 pounds of fish.
  2. Mix flour, 1 tsp of salt and fresh cracked pepper into a bowl.  Flour each side of the fish.
  3. Melt 1 large pat of butter (in the same pan that the sauce was prepared) and sauté the white fish until light brown on both sides (careful not to overcook the fish).
To finish the sauce,  reheat the butter and wine sauce.  Pour hot water inside the blender or Vita Mixer to heat it up and then empty the water out.   Place the herbs sauce into the blender, pour hot butter/wine sauce  and process until herbs are chopped into small pieces.  Pour over white fish and garnish with the edible cilantro flowers. Serve immediately.


This dish is great served with a simple side of vegetables (I like broccoli) and pasta with olive oil, fresh parsley, fresh cherry tomatoes & parmesan. Enjoy!

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