The Nicest Pan-Baked Lemon Sole (or Tofu!)
Adapted from "Jamie's Dinners" by Jamie Oliver
(Makes 4 Servings)
4 whole lemon soles (I used a block of extra-firm organic tofu cut into 4 slices)
2 handfuls of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
a handful of fresh oregano or basil, leaves picked (I used basil)
a bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, zested and halved
extra virgin olive oil
a handful of black olives, pitted and chopped (I used kalamata olives)
a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
(I added 2 Tbsp of capers)
This is really simple. First of all give your fish a wash, then with a sharp knife score across each fish down to the bone at 1 inch intervals on both sides. This allows flavor to penetrate the fish and lets the fish’s juices come out. (Or if using tofu, take a block of extra-firm tofu and press the water out by draining tofu, wrapping it in a clean dishtowel and placing something heavy on top for 30 minutes. Next slice block in half and then cut each half into two pieces. You can create a fish shape if desired by cutting small triangles in the tofu pieces--see picture above. Lightly score across the top of each tofu piece, then turn over and repeat on the opposite side. Continue recipe as written.)
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Get yourself a bowl and add the tomatoes, garlic, oregano or basil, spring onions, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper and the zest and juice of 1 lemon to it. Loosen with a couple of good tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and mix well, then spread over the bottom of a large roasting pan. Use one that will fit all 4 fish quite snugly (or you can use two smaller pans). Place the fish on top – top to tail.
Now add the olives, parsley, juice and zest of the second lemon to the bowl that the tomatoes were in. Loosen with a little olive oil and then divide this mixture between the fish, placing an equal amount on the center of each. Cook in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. To check whether they’re done, take the tip of a knife and push it into the thickest part of the fish. When done, the flesh will easily pull away from the bone. (I cooked the tofu about 18 minutes.)
Once cooked, remove the fish from the oven and allow them to rest for 3 or 4 minutes while you get your guests round the table, serve them some wine and dress your salad. Then you can come back to the fish. Divide them up at the table on to 4 plates, making sure that everyone gets some tomatoes and juice spooned over the top of the fish. Lovely!
Notes/Results: Really good. I am not going to say that it wouldn't be even better with a good piece of fish, ;-) but the ingredients worked well with the tofu and it had plenty of flavor from the lemon, herbs, and capers (the olives too, but I love my capers best), and the roasting brought out the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes, making it a nice combination. I think from a texture perspective next time I would bake the tofu separately first, so it gets a bit crispy and then add it to the mix. But all-in-all I thought my "tofishies" turned out pretty darn well. ;-) Healthy and good, I would make this one again--either with fish or with tofu.
You can check all the Something's Fishy! dishes at IHCC by going to the post and following the links.