Here, delicate and mild wild Alaska sole is prepared simply in a skillet on the stovetop with plenty of butter. Accompanied by creamy white beans, garlicky kale, crunchy fennel, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, this simple but flavor-packed meal comes together in under 30 minutes. To save time and dishes, you’ll use the same pan for cooking the vegetables and the fish, which also adds yet another layer of flavor to the modest wild Alaska sole.
Alaska sole (often known as flounder) is one of more than 10 flatfish species harvested in Alaska. Like many other types of Alaska seafood, nearly all Alaska flatfish—including sole—are certified under two independent certification standards for sustainable fisheries: Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). —Rebecca Firkser
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe is shared in partnership with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. —The Editors
2 to 4
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
large leek, white and light green parts, washed and thinly sliced
large garlic clove, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)
bunch kale, leaves stripped from stems and roughly torn
(15.5-ounce) can white beans, such as cannellini, navy, or butter, drained and rinsed
small head fennel, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
(4 to 5 ounces each) boneless Alaska sole filets (thawed, if frozen)
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the leek, garlic, and red pepper flakes if using. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add kale (in batches if needed), season with more salt and pepper to taste, and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and gently stir in the beans. Cook for another 4 minutes, until the beans are just warmed. Transfer to a large serving dish, and don’t wash the skillet (you’ll use it again for the fish). Halve one of the lemons and squeeze it over the beans and greens.
- In a small bowl, toss together the fennel and the juice from the other half of the first lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons). Season with salt and pepper.
- Wipe out the skillet. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the same large nonstick skillet over medium until the butter starts to foam and smells barely nutty, then add the fish in a single layer. Cook the fish for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until it flakes easily with a fork. Remove from heat.
- Top beans and greens with the filets and pour any browned butter left in the pan over top. Scatter the fennel mixture over the fish and top with reserved fennel fronds. Slice the remaining lemon into wedges for serving.
Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. These days, you can keep your eye out for her monthly budget recipe column, Nickel & Dine. Rebecca tests all recipes with Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.