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  • Writer's pictureLydia Gerratt

Lemon sole baked with butter, white wine, lemon and parsley

This is such a good way to cook fish - it’s all about the technique of cooking rather than a complicated recipe. It’s definitely one you need in your arsenal for turning out fabulous tasting, delicately textured fish.

Steaming in a sealed foil parcel, in the oven, with a few ingredients is a lovely way to cook whole fish on the bone. White wine, butter, lemon and fresh herbs are all you need for flavour.

I’ve used lemon sole for this recipe because I love it, but you can use lots of other types of fish; sea bass, sea bream, plaice or fillets of salmon, cod or haddock.

The best bit is that the prep and cooking is beyond minimal and while the fish is baking, you can make a simple green salad and boil a few new potatoes and that’s your meal done.

Miraculous ingredients: whole lemon sole, a decent good quality dry, fruity/floral white wine (sauvignon blanc, gavi, vermentino, picpoul de pinet)

Lemon sole baked with butter, white wine, lemon and parsley


1 whole lemon sole, cleaned and gutted

1 lemon

50g butter, sliced into 4 pieces

15g fresh parsley, finely chopped

50ml white wine

3 tablespoons water

Sea salt to season


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Place a very large piece of foil in a baking tray which is large enough to completely cover the lemon sole.

Place the lemon sole on the foil in the baking tray. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze lemon juice over the fish from one of the halves and use the remaining half to cut slices – place the lemon slices over the fish.

Place the butter slices along the top of the fish and scatter with the fresh parsley.

Pour in the wine, water and season with salt.

Fold the foil over the fish, pull the sides of the foil together and seal tightly around the whole fish.

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Check the fish is cooked all the way through by taking the foil wrapped fish out of the oven and carefully opening one corner (hot steam will come rushing out, so be careful). Use a knife to move the flesh at the thickest part of the fish to see if it’s opaque white all the way to the bone, if it’s not, seal the foil and put the fish back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

When cooked through, remove the baking tray from the oven and open the foil completely. Carefully lift the fish (I use 2 spatulas when the fish is big) onto a warm plate and pour the buttery wine sauce all over the fish. Serve immediately while hot with new potatoes and a simple green salad.

Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 20 minutes, serves 2


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