The Farmhouse Kitchen

I love Petrale Sole, it is probably my favorite fish; so delicate and just a bit sweet.  You really don't need to do much, just let the delicious flavor shine on its own.  I do believe it pairs perfectly with our spinach though, and that is why I love a simple Florentine.  I made this for Nigel for our Valentine's Dinner, but paired it with a big baked potato, which was perfect.  The Kale Quinoa Pilaf would also be fantastic and if you don't eat it all you can use it in the Cabbage Wraps.

1 lb Spinach, washed well

3 TB Butter

1 Small Onion (About 4 TB), finely minced

4 TB All-Purpose Flour

1/3 cup Cream

1 tsp Salt

Freshly Grated Nutmeg

White Pepper, to taste

2 TBParmesan Cheese, plus a bit extra for the top

Bread Crumbs

1 lb Petrale Sole

All Purpose Flour


Butter for frying

In a saucepan, melt butter on medium low heat.  Add the minced onion and cook until quite soft.  While the onion is slowly cooking work on washing the spinach.  Nigel always says the sweetest part of the spinach is the bottom.  So we go through the extra work, when the spinach isn't particularly muddy, of scrubbing those to get the dirt off.  If you need to, just cut the very tip off.  When you're done, chop it all, leaving it pretty chunky.  Heat some water (enough water to cover the bottom to about 1/2" up) in an ovenproof skillet and cook the spinach until done.  It doesn't need to be mushy or completely soft.  Drain the spinach over a bowl, keeping the spinach water.   Wipe out the skillet, then put it back on the heat - medium low for now, add 2 to 3 TB of butter and a good glug of olive oil - this is for the fish, so you are letting the pan heat up slowly while you finish up the spinach.  Back to the onion and butter, add the flour, stir well, cook until just turning the slightest bit golden.  Add the cream, whisk well.  Slowly add some of the spinach water until you have a very thick sauce.  Add the salt, nutmeg and pepper if you are using it, and the Parmesan cheese. Add the cooked spinach.  Stir it all in and if it seems too thick (pasty), you can add a bit more of the spinach water. Now - on to the fish! Rinse your filets and dry off with a paper towel.  Turn the heat up on your skillet to a good medium.  Turn the broiler on in your oven.  On a large plate mix some flour and some salt and pepper if you like.  Dredge the fish in the flour, then gently place it into the heated skillet.  Fry on both sides until a lovely golden.  It shouldn't take too long, Petrale doesn't need to cook for long.  When the fish is done remove it from the skillet, and set aside for the moment.  Pour out any butter/oil left in the pan into a little bowl and save for the topping.  Spoon the creamed spinach into the skillet and spread evenly.  Place the fish on top. Grate on some Parmesan and sprinkle with some breadcrumbs, then pour over any of the butter/oil that you have left.  Pop it under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes and done!