Dover sole is a delicate fish. I like it cooked simply, gently browned in a pan then finished off for one or two minutes in the oven. Unsalted butter infused lightly with sage, a sprinkle of coarse salt and a good grinding of black pepper is all it needs. As an accompaniment, spinach is perfect, and perhaps one or two little boiled potatoes.
60g/21/2oz unsalted butter
A small bunch of sage
4 Dover sole. Ask your fishmonger to prepare them for you
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little olive oil for the pan
Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas5. Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan over a very low heat; it should not bubble. Once the butter has melted, gently bruise the stalks of the sage using the handle of your knife and add to the butter. Turn off the heat and leave in a warm place to infuse.
Season the fish on both sides with the salt and pepper. Place a pan – preferably non-stick – on a low to medium heat. I find it easiest to put one fish in the pan at a time, as overcrowding is not a good idea – it makes the fish difficult to brown.
Once the pan is warm, add the fish skin-side down and leave undisturbed for three minutes, then, using a spatula, turn the fish over very carefully and brown on the other side for a further three minutes.
Gently transfer to a warmed, ovenproof dish and place on the middle shelf of the oven to cook for a further two minutes. Remove from the oven and spoon over a little of the sage butter. Continue with each fish, and serve while it is still deliciously hot.Reuse content