March 7, 2013

Sole en Papillote

sole en papillote 1
Sometimes the easiest foods are the most delicious, wouldn’t you agree? Most of the time, I mean. Obviously not if we’re talking about microwave mac n’ cheese. Such exceptions excluded, something has to be said for the sweet, sweet taste of gaining a bit of free time here and there.

This lovely dish of delicate sole baked with juicy grape tomatoes and earthy olives gives us just that. It’s special and fancy enough that it feels like a treat, but still so beautifully quick and easy that you can make it for dinner tonight. Especially if you go the classy route and bake it in nonstick aluminum foil rather than folded parchment paper origami packets. Because, as the saying goes, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

tomatoes and olives
Tomatoes and fish
Nope, this dish comes together with just a handful of ingredients and some streamlined assembly. Not to mention that you’re basically making yourself a pile of little fish presents full of bright, briny flavor. And we’re talking good, olive-and-caper briny, not barnacles cemented to a creaky pirate ship briny. Just to clarify.

sole with tomatoes and olives
Part of me feels like I should have made this post more formal and poetic, perhaps discussing the ways in which you could use this delightful recipe for a time-crunched dinner party or extolling the health benefits of fish and olive oil. However, part of me also feels like I covered the necessities to explain why this is a yummy dish while also finding an excuse to use the word “barnacles,” which is an accomplishment in itself. I feel like my followers are the sort of people who would appreciate that.

Enjoy your fish presents!

sole en papillote 2
Sole en Papillote with Tomatoes and Olives
Recipe Adapted from SELF Magazine
Printable Recipe

4 6-ounce sole fillets
1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic—2 thinly sliced, 1 halved
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons capers, drained
8 large green olives with pimentos, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 teaspoons dry white wine
4 teaspoons unsalted butter
8 sprigs fresh thyme
4 slices ciabatta bread

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Set aside.
In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté 2 cloves sliced garlic and red pepper flakes until the garlic turns golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the grape tomatoes, capers, and olives. Set aside.
*Note* I’ve included the instructions to bake the fish in parchment paper for the sake of the original recipe’s baking times. I made mine in nonstick aluminum foil packets. Be aware that the fish may have to cook a little while longer if you use foil instead of parchment.
Measure 4 15-inch squares of parchment paper, then fold each one in half. On each piece, starting at the fold, draw half a large heart shape. Cut along the lines and open. Place 1 fish fillet next to the crease on each piece of parchment paper.
Sprinkle each fish fillet with salt and pepper. Then spoon the tomato mixture evenly over the fillets. Top each fillet with 2 teaspoons white wine, 1 teaspoon butter, and 2 sprigs of thyme.
Fold the other half of parchment paper over the fish. Starting at the top of each parchment half-heart, make small, tight, overlapping folds along the outside edge to seal the packet, twisting the tail ends to seal completely. Place the packets in a single layer in the baking dish. Place in the oven and roast for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the parchment packets for several minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to broil and brush the slices of ciabatta with remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil. Rub each slice with the halved garlic clove. Broil until toasty and golden, then remove from the oven and serve alongside the fish.


  1. This looks amazing. I have a whol branzino in my freezer, I wonder if I can adapt this to use up my whole branzizo.
    Tomatoes and olives are my 2 favorite things so this is perfect

  2. This looks just amazing!
    I love how fresh and simple it is.

  3. Not only does that fish look amazing, that piece of toast right next to it looks like a perfect pairing for any extra tomato/olive topping. Love this recipe!


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