Delicious Dinner: Lemon Sole with Tomatoes, Aioli and Asparagus

Trying to keep this short and sweet. This is a complete meal idea that is a combination of just fussing around with recipes by putting different elements together from several recipes. Everything that is part of a recipe is from Suzanne Goin’s book Sunday Suppers At Lucques. The fish recipe asked for bluefish but I changed it up a bit preferring the simple taste of lemon sole. The asparagus recipe is mine and I changed the proportions for the salad. Goin’s aioli is all hers, but this dish is treading here between my own concept and Goin’s brilliant other recipes.

The tomato and blue cheese salad would be quite excellent by itself, or even with a salad or on top of a burger. The fish is simple and clean but the aioli just gives it such a savory and rich taste. All the colors you could want in a plate of food are here and it does not take very long to make at all. Like I said, short and sweet but rather savory this time around.

Lemon Sole with Tomatoes, Aioli and Asparagus

For the Fish:

  • 4 fillet Lemon Sole, without skin
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 8 slices pancetta, 1/8 inch thick
  • Salt and pepper

For the Tomato and Blue Cheese Salad:

  • 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  • Salt and pepper

For the Aioli:

  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 lemon, for juicing
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper

Grilled Curried Asparagus:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • ¼ cup water, for steaming
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 lemon, for juicing

For putting it all together:

  • Your favorite tomato sauce, half a jar

1. Begin by coating the fish in the lemon zest, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Place two slices of pancetta on top of each fillet and keep in the refrigerator for an hour.

2. Meanwhile prepare the beefsteak and blue cheese salad by cutting the beefsteak tomato slices into thirds. Toss the tomatoes with the garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix in the crumbled blue cheese.

3. To make the aioli place the yolk in a stainless steel bowl. Begin whisking in the olive oil drop by drop. Once the mixture has thickened you can whisk in the remaining oil in a slow steady stream. If the mixture gets too thick, add a drop or two of water.

4. To finish the aioli whisk in the garlic, salt, pepper, a squeeze from the lemon and the cayenne. Taste for balance and seasoning. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and heat a large heat-safe sauté pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Place the filets pancetta side down and cook for four minutes. Flip and cook for another three minutes. Transfer to the oven to crisp the pancetta and finish cooking the fish, for another five minutes.

6. While the fish is in the oven heat up the tomato sauce and another sauté pan for the asparagus. With a bit of olive oil, allow the asparagus to steam with the water, curry powder and lemon juice. Let this cook until tender.

7. To serve carefully take the pan out of the oven with oven mitts.  Place a layer of the hot sauce on a plate topped with a spoonful of the tomato and blue cheese salad. Serve the asparagus on the side with a filet of fish in the center. Top with the aioli and eat, eat, eat.

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