Sole benoit

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This lemon sole recipe by Martin Wishart makes a far more affordable alternative to Dover sole and is delicious in its own right. The flesh has a more delicate flavour than Dover sole and benefits from being paired with the saline mussels and dry fruity cider.

First published in 2015




Lemon sole


Set the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Wash the soles in cold water then dry them well with a cloth. Lay the fish, white skin side down, on a chopping board
  • 4 lemon sole, with head, fins and dark top skin removed
Make an incision on the skinless side of each by running a knife down the middle of the central bone, then gently lift the fillets away from the bone by slicing the knife from the centre towards the edge, stopping 1cm from the edge of the fillet to create a pocket. Place an even amount of butter into each pocket
Butter an oven dish large enough to hold the fish in a single layer, or use two separate dishes. Sprinkle the bottom of the dish with the chopped shallots and lay the fish on top, skin side down
Pour the lemon juice and cider over the fish and season each one with a little salt, then bake the fish in the oven for 8-10 minutes
While the fish is cooking, place the cleaned mussels in a pan with 3 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt
  • 600g of mussels, in the shell and cleaned
  • 3 tbsp of water
  • salt
Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook them over a hot stove for 4-5 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time until they have opened, discarding any that remain shut
After 8 minutes check to see if the fish is cooked by inserting a small knife under the central bone. If this comes away easily, the sole is cooked
Add the crème fraîche to the fish along with the cooked mussels and their juices. Place back in the oven for 3 minutes
  • 250g of crème fraîche
Chop the chervil and sprinkle it over the top of the fish then season with a few turns of freshly ground white pepper. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

Although steeped in the techniques of the classical French kitchen, Martin Wishart’s culinary imagination has a distinctly contemporary edge.

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