Every time we have fish I ask myself why we don't have fish more often. Clearly, that's what we had tonight. I generally associate fish with summer, but I found a recipe for tonight's dinner that could go either way and it's a definite keeper: Pan-Baked Lemon Sole with Spinach, Olives, and Tomato. I served it with orzo and carrots. I opened a bottle of Flying Fox Chardonnay to go along with the meal. Big J picked the wine out this summer when we stopped at a winery. I didn't care for it at the time, but it was better than I remembered. Big J said is wasn't as good as he remembered . . . go figure.
So about the fish. When I was at the store this week (by the way, the total was a little under $200, a little more than usual, but we've been out of town for a while so I needed to stock up on a few things) I looked at the fish with the plan to have fish this week, but I didn't know what I was going to make before I left the house because I didn't know what kind of fish I would find. It's sort of a catch-22: you want fish, you only want to shop once a week, you have to get the freshest fish and then cook with whatever you have on hand. This is where a well-stocked pantry comes in. Of course I was missing one ingredient: fresh basil. But hey, it's February, I think I can do without it at this point in our lives. Everything else I had; I even remembered to get anchovy paste (a regular pantry item that I was out of).
I ended up buying the lemon sole, a fish I know very little about. But I knew it was a firm flesh light flavor and I thought I could come up with something pretty good. I did a search on Epicurious this afternoon and was surprised to find something fairly easily. The recipe is from Jaime Oliver, a chef I have come to admire. It is easy and flavorful. I can easily see adapting the dish to suit whatever is on hand or to taste. Like I said, I had all but the basil so it worked out pretty well.
As we were eating I thought that the fish would be good with pesto as opposed to the tapanade; Big J agreed. Now that would be a delicious summer dish with fresh roasted tomatoes and right from the garden spinach. Yum!