Traditional recipes

Lemon Sole with Fennel and Citrus Salad Recipe

Lemon Sole with Fennel and Citrus Salad Recipe

Lightly breading the sole gives this tender fish a slight crunch when you take a bite and also makes pan-searing the fillets easy, with little risk of a sticking-to-the-pan problem.


For the citrus salad:

  • 1 large orange, skin removed with knife
  • 1 grapefruit, skin removed with knife
  • 2 fennel bulbs, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted

For the sole:

  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Four 5-ounce fillets of lemon sole
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging


For the citrus salad:

Place a sieve over a medium bowl. Hold an orange over the bowl, and using a paring knife, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment. Free the segments and let them fall into the sieve. Repeat with the grapefruit. Squeeze the membranes over the bowl to extract as much juice as possible, reserving the juices in the bottom of the bowl. Place the fruit segments and fennel in a salad bowl and reserve the juice.

In a blender or the bowl of a small food processor, blend together the oil, basil, and 3 tablespoons of the reserved juice until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour over the fruit and fennel. Add lightly toasted walnuts and toss until all ingredients are coated.

For the sole:

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Season fillets with salt and pepper and lightly dredge in flour.

Cook on each side until lightly golden brown (about 6 minutes total) and cooked through.

Serve fish with citrus salad on top. Drizzle lightly with your finest extra-virgin olive oil.

Citrus Salad Dressing

Looking for a tangy salad dressing to liven up your greens? This zingy citrus salad dressing is where it’s at! It’s got both fresh lemon and orange juice, and it’s perfectly balanced. Alex and I made it as part of a fennel orange salad, and it was so refreshing we couldn’t stop eating it! This vinaigrette works in the winter during citrus season, and as a light healthy dressing for summer salads. It’s a favorite in our house: and we hope it will be in yours too! Here’s how to make it.


Combine the orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, honey, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Whisk vigorously until well blended. Set aside. Cut the stems off the fennel, reserving the fronds for garnishing the salad.

Cut the fennel in half, remove the core, and cut into quarters. Using a mandoline or small sharp knife, slice the fennel pieces thinly. Place them in a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dust with a pinch of salt. Add the onion and olives. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss. Place in a shallow salad bowl or rimmed platter and garnish with the fennel fronds and mint. Add sliced Parmigiano cheese (if desired). Dust with a few grinds of black pepper and serve immediately.

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I found this to be 3 stars, my partner gave it a 2. I loked the flavors but thought it was missing some fat. I think I would eat this again, but maybe adding feta cheese? Preferred the grapefruit to the lemon, so would also use 2 grapefruits if I made it again.

I was skeptical, because I don't normally seek out fennel, but wow this was delish.

Made exactly as written and it was DELICIOUS!

I love salad adventures, so was intrigued by the odd combination of ingredients. It looked a little odd when finished, but it may have been my choice to use deep pink grapefruit against the tan mush of garbanzos and pale bits of fennel. Without instructions on how to assemble, I also cut the grapefruit into bite sized bits, rather than preparing it for a "composed" look at table, for less fuss packing it in a lunch bag. That said, this is now on my happy list. One addition: about 1 T of fresh organic lime juice, which rounded out the flavors nicely.

Yum! I adjusted the ingredients based on what I had on hand. I used two oranges instead of grapefruit, a lime instead of a lemon and black beans instead of chickpeas. I also added some radishes. No regrets! It was a great summer salad.

This recipe was full of pleasurable surprises. I couldn't imagine what fennel and fruit would taste like, but thought it may be somewhat lackluster. Nothing could have been further from the truth. It was bright, tangy and crunchy. I served it with roasted chicken in tomatoes and capers. It was the perfect side. The only thing I might add next time is walnuts. I'm definitely keeping this recipe.

So I was pretty dubious this would turn out only because I couldn't envision what it would taste like at all. In the end, the balance was pretty awesome: crunchy texture from the fennel, sweet and tangy from the citrus, and earth and hearty from the chickpeas. I found myself gobbling up seconds, partly because you need seconds if this is your main course and you are hungry, but also because much like popcorn, it has the sort of texture that makes you want to keep munch, munch, munching away. Which reminds me, I feel like I ate so healthy tonight that I just may make some buttered popcorn later on as a treat!

This is an amazing recipe. The citrus gives this dish an uplifting appeal while the chick peas can make it a meal. It will be a summer time staple. I used orange instead of grapefruit but the lemon is what makes it fabulous. Great recipe

You can tell by looking at the recipe whether you'll enjoy this dish. I love it - I added some celery I happened to have, I might add cashews as a variant next time.

You can tell by looking at the receipt whether you'll like this dish. I love it. I added celery and would consider adding cashews next time as a variant.


  • 4 small radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb&mdashhalved, cored and shaved paper-thin
  • 1/2 small red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded mint leaves
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 navel orange
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Four 6-ounce skinless red snapper fillets

Preheat the broiler. In a large bowl, toss the radishes, fennel, bell pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, chives and mint. Using a sharp knife, peel the grapefruit and orange, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over the bowl, cut between the membranes and release the sections into the bowl. Squeeze the membranes over the bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice to the bowl and season the salad with salt and pepper.

Set the fish on a well-oiled, sturdy baking sheet and brush with olive oil season with salt and pepper. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 4 minutes, on one side only, just until white throughout. Using a spatula, transfer the fish to plates. Top with the salad and serve.

This salad makes a very versatile side dish, but we especially like it with fish, seafood, and chicken dishes. Try it with:

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Rolled Sole with Fennel and Citrus

​Hospitality is an important ministry of Benedictines, but also with that comes the need for a spirit of flexibility! You never know when a guest can appear needing a meal or a place to spend the night. Being a Type-A personality and a perfectionist, this “gift” is not something that comes naturally to me. My life at the Villa was a wonderful time for me to breathe and let God take the reins.
It’s a place where I hear the gentle guiding voice of the​ Holy Spirit.

We had some special guests coming to stay​ at Villa Via Sacra​, and as usual, we had many other things that felt equally important going on at the same time. I thought I should plan a meal that could be prepped, held, and baked at the last minute, so that we could be free to do all of these things, but still sit down and enjoy a meal with our guests, so I prayed about what should be served. Nothing immediately came to mind, which was frustrating! I needed answers, I didn’t have time to waste, and most importantly, I had to go grocery shopping! I guess God was teaching me a something…
Then one day, not too long before they arrived, this recipe came to mind, and it felt perfect. The guests were older, it was a hot day. They would be traveling for a couple hours before arriving, and I knew they would be very tired. This recipe is light, easy on the stomach, and pleasing to the eye. It turned out to be a wonderful, relaxing meal and a lesson to me about depending on God’s timetable, not my own.

Citrus Marinated Octopus with Labne and Radicchio-Fennel Salad

This elegant octopus salad strikes the right balance between refreshingly light and richly comforting, making it an impressive choice for any occasion. As intimidating as it may seem, preparing octopus at home is easier than you&rsquod think. Octopus can be found at specialty grocery stores (such as Whole Foods), fish markets, and Asian or international markets. The key to preparing this wow-worthy seafood at home is giving the meat a preliminary cook (no matter how you intend to proceed in preparing it) in order to tenderize the meat. In this recipe, we first simmer the octopus in a flavorful, aromatic-filled cooking liquid and finish the cooking process by marinating the pre-cooked octopus in a citrusy vinaigrette. This marinade infuses flavor and continues to break down the protein for a tender, delicious bite. Just be sure not to leave the octopus soaking in the marinade for longer than suggested, as the acid will begin to deteriorate the quality of the meat. That said, the octopus can be poached and refrigerated up to a few days in advance if you want to prep ahead. Similar to kefir, labne is a tangy-rich yogurt cheese that can be found at a Mediterranean, Greek, or Lebanese market or in some specialty grocery stores. Labne is also incredibly easy to make at home if you have trouble finding it already prepared.

  • 1 medium fennel bulb with leaves
  • 4 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups torn radicchio (1/2 of a small head)
  • 2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely shredded orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute (see Tip) equivalent to 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper

Snip enough of the fennel leaves to make 1 teaspoon reserve for dressing. If desired, save additional fennel leaves for garnish. Cut off and discard fennel stalks. Remove any wilted outer layers of the fennel bulb cut a thin slice from the base of the bulb. Cut bulb into quarters lengthwise, then thinly slice quarters.

Arrange romaine, radicchio, orange sections, onion slices, and fennel slices on a large serving platter.

Combine the reserved 1 teaspoon chopped fennel leaves, the vinegar, olive oil, the water, garlic, orange zest, sugar, salt, and pepper whisk together until well mixed (see Tip). To serve, spoon dressing over individual servings. Garnish with fennel leaves if desired.

Tips: If using a sugar substitute, we recommend Splenda Granular, Equal Spoonful or packets, or Sweet 'N Low bulk or packets. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1 teaspoon sugar. Nutrition Facts Per Serving with Substitute: same as below, except 91 cal., 11 g carb.

To make a creamier dressing, whisk 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise or salad dressing into the dressing in Step 3.

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