© David Loftus
Pan-fried lemon sole fillets with salsa verde
With the great-quality farmed porgy and the amazing wild porgy that we have in Britain, this fish is not only one of the tastiest but one of the most accessible. To me it represents the best of British: everyone should eat it. Its great when roasted on the bone and very easy to cook the fillets too, as I did here. Your fishmonger will portion and pinbone the porgy for you if you ask him.
Using a speed peeler, a mandolin slicer or pretty good knife skills, slice the fennel bulbs lengthways very, very finely and put in a bowl of iced water for 10 minutes or so until the slices go crispy and curly.
Lay the fish fillets on a board, skin-side up, then lightly pinch the skin of each one and score it an at angle, about 1⁄4 inch deep, about six times. This will allow the fish not only to cook quicker but to take in the flavors of the seasoning and it looks pretty too! Sprinkle the fillets with salt, pepper, the fennel seeds and chilli and pat with a little olive oil so all the flavours stick to the fish. Heat a large frying pan and place the fillets in the pan, skin-side down. Fry on a medium heat for about 4 minutes, turning them over when the skin is golden and crisp. Fry them on the other side for a minute or so.
While the fish is cooking, you can finish your fennel salad. Drain and dry the fennel and mix it in a bowl with the herby fennel tops. Add the marjoram leaves if you prefer oregano use slightly less and mix with the fennel. When the fish are cooked, divide them between your plates. Dress the fennel salad with the lemon juice, some extra virgin olive oil, the sun-dried tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the fish with balsamic vinegar and serve with some salad piled on top.
for your salsa verde
1 clove of garlic,
peeled a handful of capers,
drained a handful of gherkins,
drained and finely chopped 6 good-quality anchovy fillets
finely chopped 2 bunches of fresh flat-leaf
finely chopped a bunch of fresh basil,
leaves picked and finely chopped a bunch of fresh mint, leaves
picked and finely chopped 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard red wine vinegar good-quality extra virgin
olive oil sea salt and freshly ground
101⁄2 oz new potatoes, scrubbed or peeled
4 double sole fillets, pinboned sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper flour
purple sprouting broccoli olive oil a knob of butter 1 lemon