Paper Sole (Petrale) – Sole baked with vegetables in parchment paper

petrale sole on a bed of vegetables

Petrale sole on a bed of vegetables

Today has been a happy day. A day of quality time with M, great food, great weather, happy coincidences and content children. Wow. I’d love to say that every day in my life is just like today, but, well… I guess we should strive for at least every weekend to be like this. It’s good for the soul. Really good.

Speaking of good for the soul. When was the last time you ate a great piece of Sole?

Last weekend, I headed off to a fabulous yoga class at our local Lululemon store, taught by my amazing friend Jane. She’s teaching these free classes for 3 weeks on a Sunday morning and it’s a real treat. If you are local, this is a must-do. Really.

While I spent a lovely hour escaping from the rain and trying really hard to focus on the yoga class and not all of the lovely store merchandise that surrounded us, M took the boys to our local San Rafael, Marin County Farmers Market. We’re pretty spoiled in this area as far as farmers markets go. There is one to choose from almost every day, but other than the farmers market at the Ferry Building in San Fran, this is definitely our favorite. Our favorite Mariposa bakery (all gluten-free) has a presence there (as it does in the Ferry Building) and there is also lot’s of great fresh, local, fish.

So M came home laden down with fresh gluten-free baguette, a stash of great fresh organic vegetables and 4 big petrale sole fish (also known as California sole, or brill). The fish was bought from Santa Rosa Seafood, who have an amazing selection at the farmers market, week in, week out.

We proceeded to invite friends for dinner and M set to work in the kitchen conjuring up a delicious fish dish, fit for Kings. Well, at least fit for a bunch of hungry people at the end of rainy day.

He created a wrap, using parchment paper, which let the fish and vegetables steam into a wonderful blend. The result was perfectly cooked fish which had absorbed the flavor of the herbs and fennel that M had used. M filleted the fish himself, but he could also have asked the fishmonger to do it for him. This is how he made it:

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 skinless fillets from of Sole (Petrale or Dover)
4 bulbs of Fennel
4 carrots
3 leeks
4 twigs rosemary
4 twigs of thyme
Dill
1/2 cup white wine
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Method
1. Switch the oven to 360 degrees
2. Chop all the vegetables into 1/2 inch slices, mix in a bowl with the rosemary, thyme and a handful of dill
3. Roll out a 2 x 2 ft piece of parchment paper, roll 2 fillets together into a tight ‘bundle’, as in the photo above (2 fillets in each wrap) and place on the paper and place the mix of vegetables on top and around the fish
4. Season with sea salt and black pepper
5. Start closing the parchment paper wrap by tightly rolling the edges together leaving a small opening on one side. Think of it as if you are creating a wall around the fish and vegetables, through which the juices can’t escape.
6. Pour a slug of olive oil as well as 1/4 cup of white wine in the wrap
7. Close the wrap fully and repeat with the remaining 2 fillets
8. Put all on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on size of fillets)
9. Carefully open the wraps and serve the fish and vegetables with a side of boiled potatoes or rice

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Mary says:

    Yum, Nicola…..this looks so good! I’ve yet to make sole, but now I have a great reason to try it for the first time. I envy you having a farmers market year round, I can hardly wait for ours to open for the season.

    Have a great week,
    Mary

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