Serves: 4 - Time:
I have been cooking versions of this dish for years. I’m pretty sure it is based on a recipe by Sophie Grigson but I can’t remember when or where I first read it. Sometimes I add a little pesto to the crème fraiche and leave the topping as plain breadcrumbs. Sometimes I dot some wilted spinach around the fish- it really depends on what I have in the fridge and how I feel. Whatever, the point is that this is really easy and very delicious. For a second I wince at tipping a whole pot (small, mind you) of crème fraiche over the fish but the guilt lasts only as long as it takes to get the first bite to my mouth. I have found sole fillets to vary greatly in weight so aim for the skinned weight per person that I have given rather than the number of fillets.
- Butter for greasing plus 15g for dotting over the crumbs
- 8-12 skinned fillets of sole, about 150g per person
- 180g plum cherry tomatoes, halved
- Small handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
- 250ml pot crème fraiche
- 75g slightly stale crustless bread
- 65g finely grated parmesan
- Heat the oven to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Grease a wide, shallow ovenproof dish with a little butter. Lay the sole fillets over the base, preferably in one layer although you can overlap slightly. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Scatter the cherry tomatoes over the fish, followed by the basil.
- Heat the crème fraiche in the microwave (or in a saucepan) for about 30-40 seconds, just enough to give it a pourable consistency. Pour over the fish .
- Put the bread in a food processor and blend to fine crumbs. Add the cheese and blend again. Scatter the cheesy breadcrumbs over the fish. Dot with the 15g butter and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden and bubbling.