Posts Tagged ‘Lemon sole’

It’s a classic combination for good reason. Very easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Wine Suggestion: playing on the balance of rich parmesan and bechamel, earthy spinach and gentle sole we opened a bottle of Sartarelli’s Mellitta. A Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva this shows the depth only top quality old-vines can give with flinty almond and peach flavours overlaid with a creamy toastiness. Made gently and with thought this wine isn’t brash, but rather has great depth and subtle nuances. A new find and one we’ll revisit.

Lemon sole florentine – serves 4

  • 4 large lemon sole, each cut into 4 fillets and skinned (your fish shop will do this for you)
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 45g butter
  • 45g plain flour
  • 450ml full-fat milk
  • 750g spinach leaves
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.

Sprinkle the fish fillets with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Fold them in half widthways, and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook, stirring for a minute. Remove from the heat and gradually blend in the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then season.

Wash the spinach and put into a pan with just the water left on the leaves. Cook for a couple of minutes until wilted, then drain well and squeeze out excess water.

Stir half the sauce into the cooked spinach and spoon into a shallow ovenproof dish. Arrange the sole on top, then pour over the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then serve.

(Original recipe from Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook, DK, 1995. )


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This fish dish feels a bit special but is very easy to make. Serve on buttered spinach and with steamed potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: from our recent trip to the Loire we opened the superlative Domaine de la Taille aux Loups Clos de la Bretonnière. Made by Jacky and J-P Blot from a monopole in Vouvray, it has to be “Vin de France” as their winery is not in the appellation. No matter, this is as fine as dry Vouvray gets. We really enjoyed the taut minerality that complimented the fish, and how it kept on giving more layers as it went along revealing hints of spring and summer fruits. Tension and poise, but with a real generosity too.

Lemon sole with basil & tomato sauce – serves 4

  • 60g plain flour
  • 2 small lemon sole, each cut into 4 fillets and skinned (your fish shop will do this for you)
  • 30g butter


  • 300ml double cream
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 tbsp fresh pesto
  • 100g sun-blush tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped basil, to serve

Sprinkle the flour over a large plate and season well with salt and pepper.

Dip the fish fillets into the seasoned flour and shake off any excess.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Wait until the butter foams, then add the fillets and cook for 2 minute on each side, or until opaque and easy to flake. Transfer to a warm plate and keep warm while you make the sauce.

Heat the cream, lemon juice, and pesto in a pan over a medium heat until hot, then add the sun-blush tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper. Serve the fish fillets on a bed of buttered spinach, dress with the sauce and sprinkle over some basil leaves.

(Original recipe from Mary Berry’s Cookery Course, DK, 2013.)

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