Hot marinated lemon sole with pickled onions and grapes

Taken from Nathan Outlaw's new book, this is a great dish for two, but you can easily double or triple the quantities to serve more


Hot marinated lemon sole with pickled onions and grapes

The most common hot marinated dish is the classic escabeche, which I adore. The technique works well with lots of fish – you just need to get the balance of acidity and heat right.

As lemon sole fillets are thin, they are well suited, because they readily take on the acidity of the marinade and ‘cook’ quickly. Megrim sole and small plaice are equally suitable. 


2 whole lemon sole, scaled and filleted

Olive oil for cooking

For the pickling marinade:

12 baby white onions, peeled and left whole

2 celery sticks, de-stringed (with a peeler) and finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, halved and germ removed, finely chopped

1 green chilli, halved, deseeded and finely chopped

1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked and finely chopped

400g tin cannellini or other white beans, drained

75ml verjus

100ml white wine

250ml fish stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To assemble and serve:

1 tbsp chopped chives

1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

20 red seedless grapes, sliced into rounds

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil


To prepare the pickling marinade, heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a generous drizzle of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the baby onions and cook for four to five minutes, turning occasionally to colour evenly.

When the onions are nice and golden, add the celery, garlic, chilli and rosemary, and cook for two minutes. Add the white beans to the pan and cook for another two minutes, then add the verjus and cook for a further
 two minutes. Pour in the wine and stock, bring to the boil and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

Lay the lemon sole fillets in a dish large enough to hold the fish flat and level. Bring the marinade back to a simmer, then carefully pour it over the fish. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.

Just before serving, scatter the chives, parsley and grapes over the fish and finish with a drizzle of olive oil over the top.

Recipe taken from Nathan Outlaw’s Everyday Seafood (Quadrille £20).