Pacific Dover Sole Rolls with Salmoriglio Sauce

 The Mediterranean Bay Laurel trees I planted a few years back as a screen between my house and the neighbors create an endless supply of bay leaves for many of my cooking projects.  At one point I worried that a big freeze would wipe them out, like what happened to the eucalyptus trees in the Berkeley Hills in  the deep freeze of  1972.  However, with the warm winters we have now, most likely due to global warming, I will have bay leaves for years to come.  I like to use them in soups and stews but they're also fun to use with lemons on skewers with fish. The original recipe that I liked for this dish calls for swordfish to be pounded thin before being filled and rolled.  However, I found Pacific Dover sole at Whole Foods in fillets, ready to be stuffed and rolled before baking.  We can relax and enjoy this type of fish as the population levels for Dover sole are high and they are not being over fished according to Fishwatch.

Now that we have the right fish, we're good to go for the accompanying filling and sauce recipes.  The Salmoriglio sauce is a popular sauce for fish throughout  Southern Italy.  I read several recipe versions of this classic sauce but have adapted the one I used here from Joyce Goldstein's Enoteca, a small cookbook featuring authentic recipes in the Italian wine bar tradition.  The sauce is a mellow herbal green color that is redolent with oregano, garlic, fresh parsley and lemon juice. 

The filling is composed of bread crumbs lightly toasted in drizzled olive oil, onion, dried currants, toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley, lemon and orange juice, dried oregano and anchovy fillets.  I baked my sole fillets and served them warm but they could be made ahead and served at room temperature.


I like these fish fillet rolls as the main course for a light dinner served with rice and a vegetable, like swiss chard.  They would also work well for a light and spicy fish course at a dinner party.  I served this with a rich and creamy Napa Valley Shafer Chardonnay which balances well with  the spicy Salmoriglio sauce.

Ingredients and Directions for  Dover Sole Rolls with Salmoriglio Sauce
 Serves 6 

6 Dover sole fillets, I used Pacific Dover sole from Oregon


About 1 & 1/2 cups cut up coarse country bread
9 tablespoons virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup dried currants, plumped in hot water and drained
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, I used Meyer lemons
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 preserved lemon rind, finely chopped (optional)
2 lemons sliced thin
6 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano

Salmoriglio Sauce

1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup mild olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Start the filling by first making the bread crumbs.  Pulse the cut up pieces of bread in a food processor until you have fine crumbs.  Spread the crumbs on a baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Bake until golden color, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and measure out 2/3 cup of crumbs.  Reserve the extra crumbs for another use.

Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saute pan, cook the onions until limp and slightly colored.  Stir in the bread crumbs, anchovy and preserved lemon rind, if using,currants, pine nuts, parsley and half of the lemon and orange juice.  Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and rest until cool.

Oil a baking pan which will comfortably hold your fish fillet roll ups.  Remove the fish fillets from the refrigerator, roll out flat and season with a small amount of salt.  Place a large tablespoon of filling on each fillet and roll up.  Secure with a toothpick, adding a lemon slice and bay leaf to each roll.  Arrange the rolls side by side in the baking dish, sprinkling with oregano and drizzling with the remaining olive oil, lemon and orange juices.

Bake the fish until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

While the fish is baking, make the sauce.  Combine the oregano and garlic in a mortar.  Add the chopped preserved lemon rind, if using.  Grind with a pestle and gradually add the virgin olive oil to make a paste.  Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley, mixing well.  Gradually beat in the milder olive oil.  Serve the Dover sole rolls with the pan sauce and the Salmoriglio sauce drizzled on top.

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