Pan-fried Dover sole with a shrimp and caper butter sauce and wilted spinach

Surprise yourself and create this classic restaurant dish easily at home. Look for a nut-brown colour in the butter (beurre noisette) before squeezing in the lemon juice to lock in the colour and flavour.


For the Dover sole
  • 2 whole Dover sole, filleted and pin boned
  • 25g/1oz plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 25ml/1fl oz olive oil
  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 10g/ baby capers
  • 2 tsp gentleman’s relish
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 100g/3½oz brown shrimps
For the wilted spinach
  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
  • 50g/1¾oz baby spinach
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
To serve
  • 1 bunch fresh watercress
  • 1 lemon, peeled with spoon to remove all the pith and finely sliced to resemble flowers

Preparation method

  1. For the Dover sole, dust the fish in the seasoned flour. Heat a large frying pan and add the oil. Once hot, add the fish skin-side down and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn over and cook for a further minute.

  2. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside to rest.

  3. Heat the butter in a separate frying pan, add the shallots and fry for a few minutes. One it has reached the nut brown stage (or beurre noisette), add the lemon juice, capers, gentleman’s relish, parsley and shrimps and cook for a couple of minutes.

  4. For the wilted spinach, in the same pan you fried your fish, heat the butter, add the spinach and a tablespoon of water and cook until wilted. Finish with a grating of fresh nutmeg.

  5. To serve, place some spinach in the centre of each serving plate and top with the fish. Spoon the sauce over and around the fish. Garnish with watercress and lemon flowers.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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