Dover Sole, the premier white fish with a unique and delicate flavor, is a choice pick for elegant dining during the holiday season. The very best Dover Sole comes from Holland, so that’s where Legal Sea Foods sources this wild-caught favorite. As a mainstay of the European seafood scene for generations, it is considered one of the foundations of Continental cuisine.
The thick-bodied Dover Sole is a flatfish that never gets much longer than 20 inches, and, like other soles, has its eyes on the right-hand side. Landed by trawlers, the species can be found between 400 and 1000 meters deep in cold ocean waters from the North Sea to Africa. Dover Sole can live for 45 years and are first available to commercial fisheries at about six to seven years of age. They spawn annually in winter, males at four years of age, females at age five. Each mature fish served in restaurants weighs between 24 and 28 ounces and, by tradition, is impressively filleted at the table in full view of the diner.
Few fish command more respect in culinary circles than the true Dover Sole, which yields thin yet firm fillets that hold together well in many preparations. The raw meat is glistening white and dense and stays white during cooking. The flavor of the Dover sole is mild and sweet, elusive and enticingly different from more mundane white fish species. It’s a special indulgence and always worth extra care and expense.
Pan Roasted Dover Sole with Caper Brown Butter
In a large sauté pan, place the fish on its side, rub well all around with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.
Remove fish from sauté pan and add the butter over medium heat. Once the butter begins to brown add the capers and the juice from 1 lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For a dramatic presentation, fillet the fish table-side and then pour the caper brown butter over the fillets (will make 4 fillets)*
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and toast until golden brown. Add the broccoli rabe and toss well. Deglaze the pan with white wine and season with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to cook until the stems are tender.
Boil red bliss potatoes in salted water until fork-tender.