After 8 months on the West Coast (and with my struggles for finding farm-direct meat), we decided it was finally time to start exploring local fish. I’ve always said I wanted to live by the water where fresh fish and seafood were plentiful and now, here I am. It’s time to take advantage.
So over the past few weeks, instead of passing by the fish vendors at the Farmers Market, I’ve been stopping, looking and asking questions. Most of the fish I’m finding was caught that morning and filleted soon before it got on ice and to the market.
So far I’ve settled on some beautiful Petrale sole from two different vendors at two different markets. (I’ll branch out soon. I’m slow to take on new fish, apparently.) One pack came from Monterey Bay to the south of us and the other Bodega Bay to the north of us.
I’m not an expert in cooking or eating fish, but I really like this variety. The second set of filets was much thicker which made them ideal for baking so I decided to fancy them up a bit. I scanned some recipes on the web and a found a few that baked the fish over onions. You know I always have plenty of heirloom tomatoes around, and there was also leftover homemade pesto from the minestrone soup. With all that, this super simple recipe came together.
I hope you like it as much as I did! As I continue to explore the markets here, more fish recipes are sure to come in the future. If you have a favorite type of fish or recipe, I’d love to hear about it.
Petrale Sole with Heirloom Tomatoes and Pesto
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10-12 oz Petrale sole filets
¼ cup fresh pesto
1 medium heirloom tomato
4 lemon slices
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small skillet, heat the butter over medium high. Add the onion slices and the garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, just until the onions start to become tender.
Transfer the onions to a baking dish and spread in a single layer. Top the onions with the sole filets. Spread the pesto evenly over each filet. Top the pesto with tomato slices. Add the lemon slices around the perimeter of the baking dish.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fish turns white and flakes with a fork. Serves 2 to 3.