Sole Picatta always reminds me of Thursdays at Scordato’s Restuarant in Hawthorne New Jersey with my grandmother. I so looked forward to those dinners as my grandmother ordered liberally from the menu, sipping a Whisky Sour (or two) then taking home most of her meal. Sole Picatta or any Picatta for that matter was an Italian-American favorite growing up. Each time I see freshly caught sole at either the farmer’s market or my fishmonger I think of those Thursdays. Sole Picatta may not be an authentic Italian dish, but who cares!
The freshness of the sole is imperative; I mean leaping out of the water, sparkling fresh. The finished dish relies on the mildly sweet taste of those tender white flakes. The sole for this recipe came from my fishmonger at the Sunday morning local farmer’s market, it just glistened.
Preparing Sole Picatta couldn’t be any more straightforward; a matter of seasoning the fish fillets, dredging it lightly in flour, and assembling some basic pantry items to finish off the dish.
So few ingredients are needed for a course that is elegant in it’s simplicity, serve Sole Picatta with your favorite Italian white wine.
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- 1 to 1¼ pounds of fresh sole fillets
- ½ cup flour
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbs. Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed and dry
- Fresh sliced lemon
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the dry capers and let them sizzle until they open like little flowers and begin to lightly crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and reserve.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. In the meantime season the fish fillets on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge each of the fillets in the flour, both sides, shaking off any loose flour.
- Preheat the oven to 200º.
- Add the seasoned and floured fillets to the heated oil in the skillet taking care not to crowd the pan, lightly browning each side. Resist the temptation to turn over the fish to quickly, the fillets are tender and can break if manipulated too much. Once lightly browned, carefully remove the fillets to a platter and place into the warm oven. Continue with any remaining uncooked sole fillets.
- Add the wine to the skillet and reduce over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, add the fresh lemon juice, lemon slices, capers and unsalted butter. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until the butter has melted and a sauce has formed.
- Spoon the lemon & wine sauce over the fillets, top with the chopped parsley. Serve immediately.