Florentine Catfish Recipe from Switzerland | Ingredients & Directions

Florentine Catfish

Florentine Catfish Recipe from Switzerland | Ingredients & Directions
Region / culture: Switzerland | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Servings: 6


Florentine Catfish
Florentine Catfish

Florentine Catfish is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines tender U.S. farm-raised catfish with a creamy spinach and cheese sauce. This recipe is perfect for a special dinner or a family meal.


The Florentine Catfish recipe is inspired by the classic Italian dish, "Florentine," which typically includes spinach and a creamy sauce. This American twist on the traditional recipe adds catfish to create a unique and flavorful dish.


How to prepare

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water and lemon slices to a gentle simmer.
  2. Add the catfish fillets and poach them gently for about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove the fillets and drain them well.
  4. Thaw the spinach and drain it.
  5. Place the spinach in a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture.
  6. Set it aside.
  7. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan.
  8. Add the green onions and garlic.
  9. Cook briefly to soften them.
  10. Add the flour and stir constantly while the roux cooks.
  11. Do not let it brown.
  12. Slowly add the milk, continuing to stir until the sauce is smooth and thickened.
  13. Add the reserved spinach, seasonings, lemon juice, and 0.5 cup of the cheese, mixing well.
  14. The sauce can be prepared ahead up to this point and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  15. When you are ready to serve, place the cooked catfish fillets in a lightly buttered 9- by 3-inch baking dish or individual au gratin dishes.
  16. Cover them with the sauce and top with the remaining cheese.
  17. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 15 minutes or until bubbly.
  18. Finish under the broiler to lightly toast the cheese.
  19. Serve immediately.


  • Substitute the catfish with another white fish, such as tilapia or cod.
  • Use different types of cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella, for a unique flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to poach the catfish fillets gently to ensure they stay tender and moist.

- Thaw and drain the spinach well to prevent excess moisture in the sauce.

- Make the sauce ahead of time for easy preparation on the day of serving.

- Top the dish with cheese and broil it for a crispy and golden finish.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Florentine Catfish with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh salad for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Poaching the catfish fillets

- Making a roux for the sauce

- Baking and broiling the dish for a crispy finish

Ingredient Substitutions

Use fresh spinach instead of frozen

- Substitute the white pepper with black pepper

- Use vegetable broth instead of water for poaching the catfish

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 2 days before assembling and baking the dish.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Florentine Catfish in individual au gratin dishes for an elegant presentation. Garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Florentine Catfish with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, to complement the creamy sauce and delicate fish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers of Florentine Catfish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Florentine Catfish contains approximately 350 calories.


Each serving of Florentine Catfish contains approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Florentine Catfish contains approximately 20 grams of fats.


Each serving of Florentine Catfish contains approximately 25 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Florentine Catfish is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.


This recipe contains dairy (butter, milk, cheese) and fish (catfish), which may be allergens for some individuals.


Florentine Catfish is a balanced dish that provides a good mix of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.


Florentine Catfish is a flavorful and satisfying dish that combines tender catfish with a creamy spinach and cheese sauce. This recipe is perfect for a special occasion or a family dinner. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of wonder I felt when I first saw this recipe for Florentine Catfish. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Maria in the charming town of Florence, Italy. Maria was known for her incredible cooking skills, and I was always eager to learn new recipes from her.

As we sat in her cozy kitchen, sipping on homemade limoncello, Maria brought out a worn, stained recipe card from her collection. She explained to me that Florentine Catfish was a traditional dish in her family, passed down from generation to generation. The combination of delicate catfish fillets, tangy tomatoes, and fragrant herbs was a true taste of Tuscany.

Maria guided me through the process of preparing the dish, showing me how to season the catfish with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. She then demonstrated how to sauté the fish in olive oil until it was golden and crispy on the outside.

Next, Maria showed me how to make the tomato sauce. She chopped ripe tomatoes, garlic, and basil, then simmered them together in a pot until the flavors melded into a rich, savory sauce. The aroma that filled the kitchen was intoxicating, and my mouth watered in anticipation.

Once the catfish was cooked to perfection and the sauce was ready, Maria assembled the dish. She placed the catfish fillets on a platter and spooned the tomato sauce over the top. A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese added the perfect finishing touch.

As we sat down to enjoy our meal, Maria shared stories of her childhood in Florence and the memories she associated with this dish. She told me how her grandmother used to make Florentine Catfish for special occasions, and how it always brought the family together around the table.

I savored each bite of the tender catfish, the tangy tomato sauce, and the melted cheese. The flavors were a symphony in my mouth, and I knew that this recipe would become a beloved favorite in my own kitchen.

When I returned home from my trip to Italy, I wasted no time in recreating Maria's Florentine Catfish in my own kitchen. I followed her instructions to the letter, using the freshest ingredients I could find. The dish turned out just as delicious as it had in Florence, and I felt a connection to Maria and her family through the shared love of food.

Over the years, I have made Florentine Catfish for countless family gatherings, dinner parties, and even just for myself on a quiet evening. Each time I prepare the dish, I am transported back to that sunny day in Maria's kitchen, surrounded by the sights, sounds, and smells of Italy.

I have shared the recipe with friends, neighbors, and anyone who has expressed an interest in trying something new and delicious. It brings me joy to pass on the knowledge and traditions that I have learned from Maria and others over the years.

As I grow older, I realize that cooking is not just about following a recipe or making a meal. It is about creating memories, forging connections, and preserving a piece of our heritage. I am grateful for all the recipes, stories, and experiences that have shaped me into the cook I am today.

And so, every time I make Florentine Catfish, I am reminded of the sense of wonder I felt when I first saw that recipe card in Maria's kitchen. It is a reminder of the power of food to bring people together, to nourish the body and the soul, and to keep alive the traditions that make life rich and meaningful.


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