Gently poaching fish in a flavorful liquid just about guarantees a perfect outcome—juicy, tasty fillets. Bonus: With this "Trinity" Poached White Fish recipe, you also get vegetables and a delicious sauce, all in one pan.

The “trinity” in classical French cooking (onions, carrots, and celery) is the foundation for dozens of stocks, soups, stews, and sauces. Here I’ve used leeks in place of onions. Be sure to rinse them well; they grow in sandy soil, and often have a bit of grit between the layers.

This recipe was developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4


2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, well rinsed and thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
¾ tsp. kosher salt
½ lb. small zucchini, cut into thin half moons
1½ lbs. tilapia or other firm white fish, skin removed and cut into chunks
1 Tbs. capers
A few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley or dill, roughly chopped


  1. In a large deep pan over medium heat, sauté the leeks, carrots, and celery in the oil, stirring often, until they start to brown, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the wine (if using) and simmer until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the salt, zucchini, and 1 cup of water. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, 5-7 minutes.
  4. Push the vegetables to one side. Add the fish to the open part of the pan. Spoon the vegetables over the fish. Gently shake the pan to distribute the fish evenly. Reduce the heat to low and very gently simmer until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 5-10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with the capers and parsley.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (6 oz. fish with vegetables & sauce):

  • Calories: 350
  • Total fat: 17 g
  • Sat fat: 3 g
  • Carbs: 12 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Total sugar: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 36 g
  • Sodium: 550 mg

Photo: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.