April 13, 2024
Close this search box.
Close this search box.
April 13, 2024
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

During the busy holiday week, it’s helpful to serve a dish that can be prepped in advance. This recipe for lemon sole is one of my favorites. It has great flavor and texture, and can tempt even those who are not fish aficionados. Serve with the following recipe for brown rice and seasonal sautéed zucchini. And with only two pots to clean, you’ll enjoy this dish even after the meal is over!

What you will need to serve 4:

For the fish:

Large non-stick skillet.

A foil covered plate that will hold all the prepped fish and fit in your fridge.

4 medium pieces of lemon sole. The sides of this fish tend to be larger that filet of sole, so you can simply cut 2 large pieces down the center.

6 Tblsp. Dijon mustard. I prefer Grey Poupon.

4 Tblsp. butter and 1 Tblsp. for the skillet

About ½ tsp or several turns of freshly ground pepper

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp lemon juice

1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs, seasoned with:

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp fresh ground pepper

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Olive oil to sauté

For the rice:

Heavy pot with lid

1 small shallot, finely chopped

Virgin olive oil to sauté shallots

1 tsp butter

2 cups water

1 cup brown rice

½ tsp salt (more to taste)

For the zucchini:

2 zucchini sliced lengthwise, then lengthwise again to create long pieces. Cut the long pieces twice crosswise to make shorter “sticks”

Olive oil to sauté and 1 tsp butter to finish

Salt and pepper to taste

Prep the fish:

Heat the pot you will use for the rice. Add several turns of black pepper to the heated pot, stir around until fragrant. Heating the pepper allows it to release essential oils, creating a richer, more flavorful result. Add the butter, being careful not to let it burn. Add the lemon juice and thyme leaves. If you are using unsalted butter, you might want to add a dash to bring out the flavors. Dijon has plenty of salt, so this is optional.

Brush the top side of each filet with the lemon-thyme butter. You will see the butter solidify on the chilled fish. Liberally spread Dijon on top of the butter compound and place the filet, Dijon side down, onto the seasoned panko. While the filet is on the panko, repeat the butter and Dijon process on the other side, and turn to coat the other side in the panko. Place the panko-covered filet onto the foil-covered plate. When all the pieces are prepared, return the fish to the refrigerator. Do not clean out the pot in which you prepared the lemon-thyme butter.

Prepare the rice:

In the pot used for the lemon-thyme butter, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Sauté the shallots, adding the teaspoon of butter as they become soft and translucent. Add the water and salt and cook rice as directed. The rice can also be prepared in advance and reheated. If you are preparing the rice close to serving time, make sure it has cooked thoroughly before cooking the fish.

Prepare the zucchini:

When you are ready to start cooking the fish, first prepare the zucchini. In the same large skillet you will use to sauté the fish, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the zucchini until done yet still firm, adding the ½ to 1 teaspoon of butter during the last couple of minutes of sautéing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the zucchini into a heavy bowl that will retain heat and cover with foil. The zucchini will cook a bit more and soften in the bowl. When you serve it, you will notice that the zucchini has exuded a fair amount of liquid. I like to save this in the freezer to add to a vegetarian vegetable soup.

Cook the fish:

Heat several tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Place the filets in the hot oil, and cook for three to four minutes on each side. Adjust the heat so they do not burn. After turning the fish, add the butter in small bits throughout the skillet. This will broaden the flavor without burning the butter. Try to gauge the cooking time by the thickness of the filets. You want to avoid turning them more than once. When they are done, they will have a beautiful crust, and a moist, flavorful interior.

If serving family style, use the platter that had been covered in foil, and sprinkle the fish with freshly chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon for each serving. When serving four people, I prefer to plate individually and sprinkle the entire plate with fresh parsley.

Bon appetit and Shanah Tova!

By Lisa Reitman-Dobi

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles