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The Barcelona Cookbook
by Sasa Mahr-batuz & Andy Pforzheimer
This is a springtime special, perfect for the first good peas of the season and light, fresh lemon sole. In Spain they love subtle white fish such as sole, hake, and cod, and we are lucky to be near New England's waters where these fish are shipped in daily. This sole dish is easy and requires only a short time to make.
Serves 4


    • 1½ cups olive oil
    • 1/3 cup sherry vinaigrette
    • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    • 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Lemon Sole and Peas
    • Kosher salt
    • 4½ cups fresh or frozen peas (about 5 pounds fresh peas in the pod)
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 2 shallots, thinly sliced (preferably with a mandoline)
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • Four 6-ounce lemon sole or other flatfish fillets (such as fluke or flounder)
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • Sea salt, for garnish


1. To make the vinaigrette: In a blender, puree the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and shallots. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pulse to mix.

2. Use the vinaigrette right away or transfer to a lidded container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

3. To prepare the fish and peas: Set a bowl of ice water near the stove. Fill a pot halfway with cold water, add 2 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and cook for no longer than 2 minutes, or until they are bright green and beginning to turn tender. Drain the peas and immediately plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking. When the peas are cold, drain.

4. Put 2½ cups of the peas in a blender and process until coarsely pureed. (The peas can be prepared up to this point 24 hours ahead of time and stored in a lidded container in the refrigerator.)

5. In a large saute pan, melt 2 teaspoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, season to taste with salt and pepper, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until translucent but not browned.

6. Add the pea puree, whole peas, and marjoram to the pan and cook gently until heated through. Stir to mix the pureed peas with the whole peas. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

7. In another large saute pan, heat the olive oil and remaining 1 teaspoon of butter over medium-high heat.

8. Season the fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper and cook, skin side up, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the edges of the fish are browned. With a large spatula, carefully turn the fillets and cook for 4 to 5 minutes longer, or until opaque and cooked through. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the fish.

9. Put about a cup of the peas in the center of each of 4 serving plates. Top the peas with a fish fillet and drizzle the vinaigrette around the plate. Drizzle any accumulated butter and lemon juice remaining in the saute pan over the fish. Garnish each plate with sea salt and serve.


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