Recipe from The Italian Table by Ron Suhanosky (Kyle Books, 2011)Fluke, a member of the flounder family, is also known as summer flounder due to the fact that it spawns in deep ocean waters in the early spring, then moves closer to land to feed as the spring and summer progress. It's one of the most popular mild, delicate, white-fleshed fish among commercial and recreational fishermen up and down the East Coast of North America. Freshly caught fluke is one of the many seafood treats we enjoy throughout the summer months on Nantucket. The challenge, as with all fish of this nature, is to find ways to cook it so as to preserve its subtle textures and flavors. Poaching the fish in olive oil is among the best solutions-clean, simple, and guaranteed not to dry out. For me, it makes the ideal light antipasto for a warm-weather gathering. You can also apply this recipe to other white-fleshed seafood such as skate wing or trout.
serves 4 to 6
or poaching, be sure to use a light, pure olive oil, not the heavier, spicier, green extra virgin type used to dress salads.
- 2 cups olive oil
- 3 pounds fluke fillets, folded into 3-inch "rolls"
- 1/2 medium Spanish onion, sliced 1-inch thick
- 2 fresh sage sprigs, leaves only
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup capers, rinsed and drained
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only juice of 1 lemon
- 6 radishes, washed, trimmed, and grated (medium)
1. Place the olive oil in a shallow 12-inch sauté pan. Add the fluke, onions, sage, salt, and pepper. Bring the oil up to a simmer over medium heat, then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, leaving the fluke in the oil in the pan.
2. Place the capers, shallots, thyme, 1/2 cup of the olive oil from the pan, and the lemon juice in a blender. Blend at medium speed for 2 minutes to make a dressing with a chunky consistency.
3. Transfer the fluke and onions from the pan to a platter, discarding the oil. Place about 1 tablespoon of the caper dressing on top of each fillet, garnish with the grated radish, and serve.