Whole Foods Sale on Pacific Dover Sole was a Bargain


Editor’s Note: This is an older post done before Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. Since that time seafood prices are much more manageable, especially if you are a Prime Member. However, Whole Foods no longer has a processing facility in Gloucester.

One of the places within driving distance that I can get various species of wild and farm-raised seafood is Whole Foods. With their commitment to only selling what they deem sustainably caught or raised seafood, I figure it is probably the best way to try fish that I would not see otherwise. I don’t hold much faith in the trendy Eco-labels that you see on seafood these days. However it’s better than nothing when trying fish that is unfamiliar.

I saw that they were having a sale on Pacific Dover sole, a popular flatfish named for a similarity with the more famous Dover sole of Europe. I’ve never had it and at $7 a pound it was a hard to pass up. I believe the full price was double that, and for a fish that I have never seen in a local fish market.

About Pacific Dover Sole

NOAA Fisheries

Pacific Dover sole is a right-eyed flounder, caught along the West Coast of North America. The fish itself and it’s white, firm, flesh have a passing resemblance to the true Dover sole. They are also known as “slime sole” or “slippery sole” because of the thick slime coat the fish produce.

The fillets were nice and fresh looking, no dark spots or worms, with a nice clean smell. Some were thicker than others, but all the fillets were what I expect from a flounder sold as a sole. I didn’t really have a recipe planned out and with not a ton of ingredients in the house I came up with this:

Pacific Dover Sole with Walnut/Cracker Topping

Recipe by Buying SeafoodCuisine: SeafoodDifficulty: Easy
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes

I didn’t want to duplicate the flounder fish pie, so instead of mashed potato topping I topped everything with a blend of walnut and Ritz crumbs for a familiar, but different take.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Pacific Dover sole fillets

  • 1/2 Onion

  • 3 cloves of Garlic

  • 2 Celery stalks

  • 1 medium Carrot

  • 6 medium Crimini mushrooms

  • 1/2 cup Walnuts

  • 1/2 sleeve Ritz Crackers (or Saltines/panko/homemade crumbs)

  • 1 Lemon – juice and zest

  • Salt, Pepper, Italian herbs

  • Olive oil

Directions

  • Chop vegetables fine and saute in olive oil until nice and caramelized.
  • Grease a baking sheet or large casserole.
  • Season fillets with salt and pepper and layer the fish to cover the bottom, you may have enough fillets for a second layer.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice on the fish before topping with vegetable mixture.
  • Pulse the walnuts, crackers, herbs, zest and some lemon juice to a moist consistency. Top the fish and vegetables.
  • Place in a 375F oven for about 25 minutes or until everything is golden brown and bubbling.

The Verdict on Whole Foods Dover Sole

The fish has a very mild sweetness that worked with the sautéed vegetables and the walnut crumbs. I can see a lot of fun variations of this topping, maybe adding different nuts or some Parmesan cheese. This would be a good choice for me if I didn’t have access to fresh local fish, including several species of similar tasting flounder.