This is one of the first French fish recipes I learned to prepare, oh so many years ago. In fact, this is one of those recipes that became a Bennett family favorite because of… you guessed it, the sauce! And as some of you know, I love “options” when it comes to my recipes, so if you’d like to grill a piece of halibut rather than wrestle with the Dover Sole, I’ll give you an optional recipe for just the sauce.
Sole Veronique is a traditional classic French dish. And it’s prepared with the most treasured of French ingredients… butter and cream.
Although this recipe does contain both, I’ve tried to pair down the amounts used, and I’ve added in olive oil to substitute for some of the butter. If you’d like a sauce without the cream, add a squeeze of lemon to the wine and a one last pat of butter to finish the sauce.
This makes a fabulous simple and quick weeknight meal, but it’s elegant and delicious enough to serve to dinner guests. Happy Cooking!
1 ½ -2 lbs fresh white fish, Dover Sole or Flounder
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs, herbs de Provence or French herbs
1 cup all purpose flour (or gluten free bread crumbs)
Extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter or clarified butter (ghee)
1 shallot minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 cup white wine
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh chopped fresh herbs such as tarragon, thyme, Italian Parsley
1/2 – 3/4 cup small red grapes halved
1 small lemon
Mix together the flour, dried herbs, salt and pepper.
Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. Once the oil and butter are hot, but not smoking, dredge the fish fillets through the flour and herb mixture and then dust off the excess.
Pan sear the fillets for 2-3 minutes on each side depending on thickness. You’ll want to see a nice brown crust on each side. During the pan searing, add a little butter and olive oil as needed as sometimes the pan becomes to dry. Transfer the pan seared fillets to a platter and keep warm.
If needed, add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and then add the shallots. Sauté the shallots for a few minutes then stir in the white wine deglazing the pan. Let the wine simmer for a minute or two and then add the heavy cream and grapes and reduce the sauce by half. Take the sauce off the heat and add the fresh chopped herbs. Plate the fish fillets and squeeze a little lemon over the fish. Ladle sauce over the fish, garnishing with extra grapes if desired.
Serve with roasted Asparagus, wild and brown rice, mixed fresh greens with a French vinaigrette or wilted spinach with garlic.
To prepare just the sauce: Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil to a sauce pan on medium heat. When the butter has melted and the olive oil/butter is hot, add the shallots. Sauté the shallots for a few minutes then stir in the white wine deglazing the pan. Let the wine simmer for a minute or two and then add the heavy cream and grapes and reduce the sauce by half. Take the sauce off the heat and add the fresh chopped herbs, a pat of butter. Plate the fish fillets and squeeze a little lemon over the fish. Ladle sauce over the fish, garnishing with extra grapes if desired.