Plaice with a tomato and sorrel dressing

Plaice with a tomato and sorrel dressing

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
1 small banana shallot
1 garlic clove
2 ripe plum tomatoes
75ml olive oil
3 plaice, each about 350–450 g
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
5-6 sorrel leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1 quantity Wilted spinach, to serve


  1. Halve, peel and very finely dice the shallot. Peel and crush the garlic. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, then refresh in cold water, dry and peel. Quarter and deseed, then cut into fine dice (concasse). Set aside until needed.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over a low heat, then add the shallot. Cook very gently until softened, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Fillet and skin the plaice, giving 12 fillets (3 per person). Juice the ½ lemon.
  4. Season the skin side of each fillet with salt and a few drops of lemon juice and fold loosely into three, skin side inside, so the fish is an even thickness. Place all the folded fillets in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam for 3–5 minutes until cooked. The fish is ready when it has turned opaque and firmed a little to the touch. Ensure the inside of the folds are cooked.
  5. Meanwhile, to finish the dressing, add the wine vinegar to the shallot and garlic. Finely chiffonade the sorrel and add to the dressing with the diced tomato. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice or extra wine vinegar.
  6. Place 3 mounds of wilted spinach on each of 4 plates, top with 3 fillets of plaice and spoon a little of the dressing over the fish. (Or arrange on 1 or 2 platters.) Serve immediately.


  • The sorrel will discolour very quickly, so only prepare it immediately before you add it to the dressing, ensuring too that the oil is cool before you add it. If sorrel is not available, basil is a good substitute, or you could use a little finely grated lemon zest.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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