Sole Piccata

Petrale sole fillets, dusted in flour, sautéed in olive oil and served with a sauce of white wine, lemon juice, capers, parsley and butter.
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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Don’t you love petrale sole? Such a lovely light and delicate fish. I couldn’t resist picking up a few fillets today at the market. A classic piccata is a great way to prepare sole, or any small flat fish such as flounder or fluke.

Just lightly dust the fillets in seasoned flour, fry them on both sides until nicely browned, and serve them with a sauce made with white wine, capers, butter, and parsley. Enjoy!

Sole Piccata Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

This recipe calls for petrale sole, but any small flat fish fillet will work. Other good choices are flounder, fluke, small walleye or perch, rock cod, catfish or crappie. The recipe will work best with fillets that are 3/8-inch to 1/2 inch thick.

Have everything ready before you start cooking the fish, as the recipe comes together very quickly.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound thin, skinless fish fillets
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour for dredging
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup small capers
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Method

1 Dredge fillets in flour: Rinse the fish in cold water and pat them dry. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper. Then place the flour mixture in a long shallow bowl or dish. Dredge the fillets in the flour so that both sides are lightly coated.

2 Fry fillets until golden: Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stick-free sauté pan.

When the oil is hot (add a little pinch of flour to the oil, and if it sizzle immediately, you're ready), work in batches and place the fish fillets in the pan in one layer and fry until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Add more oil to the pan if needed.

3 Remove fish to a paper-towel lined plate: Once browned on both sides, remove the fish fillets from the pan, set them on a paper towel-lined plate (or keep them warm in a 200°F oven).

4 Deglaze pan with wine: Add the white wine to the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

5 Add lemon juice and capers: Let the wine boil furiously for a minute or two, until greatly reduced, then add the lemon juice and capers. Boil another minute.

6 Swirl in butter: Turn off the heat. Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the pan, swirling it constantly. When it melts, repeat the process with the other tablespoon of butter.

7 Serve: Stir in half of the parsley and pour it over the fish. Sprinkle the fish with the remaining parsley. Serve at once.

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Links:

Cod Piccata, from Elena's Pantry

Sole Meuniere, from Leite's Culinaria

Sole Roulades, from La Tartine Gourmande

Sole Piccata

Showing 4 of 26 Comments

  • Linda

    My sole was wonderful. But, my flour came off and the fish didn’t brown beautifully like the picture – what did I do wrong

  • PaschaDee

    Tried it tonight with tilapia with no flour or salt. We didn’t miss the salt because of the capers. It was superb and will differently be on our go to at least a few times per month. Thank you…

  • Sonia

    I made this recipe today and it came out delicious. Next time I make it, I will try to make more sauce. My husband and I loved it!

  • Nikita

    What if you have a thicker chunk of Halibut? Just adjust the cooking time?

  • Stash

    Made this for dinner last night. We used olive oil all the way through instead of butter and it was still outstanding!!! I kept saying “wasn’t that just perfect fish?” over and over until my SO told me to can it! ;-) But it truly was PERFECT! Thank you for a great recipe!

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