I created this dish on Food Network's The Julia Child Challenge as my interpretation of the meal that changed Julia Child's life: Sole Meunière.
If you read my Sautéed Prawns recipe entry, you will recall that I mentioned Sole Meunière as the meal the changed Julia Child's Life. The moment she tasted that dish upon her arrival in France was the moment she began falling heads over heels in love with French cooking, culture, and lifestyle.
On the first episode of The Julia Child Challenge, we were tasked with creating our own interpretation of this iconic dish. I made Sole Meunière topped with grapes roasted in a rosemary and lemon simple syrup and pan toasted pistachios. The day I cooked this dish, the brilliant and truly kind Francis Lam, guest judge for that episode, offered some of his wisdom to me on a silver platter. He suggested I saute my grapes in brown butter, rather than roast them in a syrup, in order to avoid too much sweetness. Of course I took his advice - it's not every day you gain insight and advice from food world figures you've followed and looked up to for years - and I am so glad that I did. Here you have Sole Meunière with Sautéed Brown Butter Grapes and Toasted Pistachios. Brown butter compliments each element of this dish, making it truly unique and full of lovely flavors and textures. Now that I've tweaked and perfected this concept, I'm so excited to share this recipe with all of you, as well.
If you're looking for the perfect pans for preparing this dish, I love to use my Great Jones Deep Cut for preparing the sole, and my Great Jones Small Fry for toasting the pistachios and preparing the sauce.
If you prepare this unique and delicious interpretation of Julia's life changing dish in your own kitchen, be sure to tag @threebirdsonestove so I can see your beautiful meal! Bon appétit, loves.
Watch The Julia Child Challenge, Mondays at 9PM EST, on Food Network and Discovery Plus!
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Yield: Serves 4-5
1 pound Dover Sole filets (6-7 filets), patted dry with paper towels
⅓ cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup (about 2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1 lemon sliced in half, zest and juice divided
1 ½ cups seedless red grapes, cut into quarters
¼ cup pistachios, pan toasted and finely chopped (method below)
Kosher salt for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
Fresh parsley for garnishing
Lemon wedges for serving
For the Fish:
After patting with paper towels, season each filet with salt and pepper, and season the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper, as well. Lightly dredge each filet.
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil and ¼ cup butter over medium high heat. Once the foam subsides in the pan, cook each filet 2-3 minutes per side. Once cooked to a light golden hue, transfer to a cooling rack.
For the Pistachios (If Toasting Your Own):
Bring a sauté pan to medium heat. Add the nuts, olive oil, and a little sprinkle of flaky salt.
Toast 5-6 minutes, tossing a few times so the nuts toast evenly and to avoid burning them.
Transfer nuts to a cutting board and allow to cool for 2 minutes. Then chop roughly. Place aside.
Prepare the Sauce & Serve:
In a small frying pan, melt ½ cup butter over medium heat. Once melted, add 2 teaspoons lemon juice and grapes. Increase heat to medium-high and continue to cook down the grapes as the butter browns. Once caramelized and golden brown, 5-6 minutes, remove from heat.
To serve, top each filet with a tablespoon of the brown butter grape sauce, sprinkle with toasted pistachios, and garnish with fresh parsley and lemon zest. Slice other half of lemon into wedges for serving.