The ancient Romans gave the name solea to sole because this flatfish reminds them of the sole of a sandal. A carryover of the ancient Roman practice of preserving fish is sole marinated in lemon juice and olive oil, prepared for la vigilia. Dover or gray sole, both mild in flavor and delicate in texture, are good for this dish, but the firmer petrale sole, which is really flounder, is a good substitute.
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 2 large lemons
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup finely minced flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds sole or flounder fillets
In a glass dish large enough to hold the fish in one layer, mix together ¼ cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil until smoking hot. Add the fish, a few pieces at a time, and fry until golden brown, turning once or twice. Remove the fish to a cutting board and let cool. Set the pan aside.
Cut the fish into small squares and place them in the marinade. Strain any oil remaining in the frying pan and pour it over the fish. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, occasionally spooning the marinade over the fish.
Bring the fish to room temperature before serving. Arrange the fish on a platter and garnish with lemon wedges and sprigs of parsley.
This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1995.
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