nostalgia recipes

Pan Seared Lemon Sole with Cranberry Salsa

A bright, clean version of a notoriously unhealthy comfort food.

Lauren Gerrie, co-owner of bigLITTLE Get Together, a New York-based culinary company, reimagines classic cranberry sauce. “This recipe was inspired by a chef friend of mine,” says Gerrie. “In her family they make a fresh cranberry chutney style salsa that is so clean and really pops against all the other rich elements of a holiday meal. I thought it would be great to take that idea and make a spicy and clean salsa. Fennel offers a bright flavor balance that is perfect with the delicate sole and caramelized citrus.”

For the cranberry salsa:
1-12 oz bag fresh cranberries (3 cups)
1 fennel bulb chopped (1 cup), save the stalks and fronds for garnish
1 jalapeño, stem removed
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp honey
2 tbsp lime juice
½ cup chopped parsley (stems and leaves)
¼ cup chopped cilantro (stems and leaves)

Directions for the cranberry salsa: In a food processor pulse together the cranberries, honey, salt, grated ginger until they are a rough/course chop. Remove mixture and set it aside in a medium size bowl. In the food processor, pulse the fennel bulb, jalapeño, and lime juice until they too are roughly chopped. Add the fennel mixture to the cranberry mixture and add the cilantro and parsley.

For the charred clementine:
2 clementines, peeled and segmented
1 tsp coconut oil
¼ tsp Kosher salt

Directions for the charred clementine: Heat a medium size cast iron or pan to medium high heat. Add the coconut oil and swirl around the pan to coat. Add the clementine segments and gently toss to coat in hot oil. Allow the clementines to char/caramelize on one side. Once you smell the fragrant scent of natural sugars, sprinkle the them with salt, give the segments a flip, then remove onto a plate and set aside.

For the lemon sole:
1 large filet of lemon sole (about 1 lb)
1-2 tbsp grapeseed, coconut or vegetable oil (any high heat oil will do here)
Salt (to taste)

Directions for the lemon sole:

1. Divide the filet into two portions, then cut the two smaller fillets into two pieces horizontally (so that you have four equal pieces that can fit in the pan).

2. Using the pan that you charred the clementines in, heat it to medium high heat and add the oil.

3. Sprinkle the sole with salt and place the four pieces into the hot pan.

4. Cook for 4 minutes on the first side without moving or touching to produce a nice golden crust.

5. Sprinkle the other side with salt and flip, cooking for another 2 minutes, then remove onto a paper towel lined plate.

To plate: Spoon the cranberry salsa into a shallow bowl or medium size plate. Add as many clementine segments as desired. Top with fish and garnish with shaved fennel stalks and fronds. 

Optional: Drizzle a little high quality olive oil over the fish and sprinkle with maldon salt.

Also in this series: Haricots Verts with Cashew Cream & Pickled Mushrooms and Roasted Kabocha Squash with Pepita Crumble