Put A Little Sole in a Late Winter Seafood Dish

Winter Flounder (or sole) is a bountiful, seasonal New England delight, full of soul and flavor.

I am tired of root vegetables, and they are getting just plain tired of me as well. My frozen local veggies are pretty much depleted, and even the fresh from elsewhere in the country leave much to be desired. But this week I found some pretty good looking domestic organic zucchini at the co-op, so I needed to pretend it was summer just for a time. While I prefer to eat locally as much as possible, there are only so many butternut squash I want in a single season, and I think I’ve surpassed that already. I would also weaken and buy fresh strawberries right now if only they looked edible! 

Always a lovely seafood

      But while produce is challenging, there are really tasty and sustainable fish selections available this time of year here in New England, including two of my favorites – scallops and flounder or sole.

Tender and delicious

      Winter flounder is a good sustainable choice as the stocks are ample with management in place. You will also see it referred to as simply flounder, sole, lemon sole, Georges Bank flounder, and blackback flounder. A thin, flat white fish with sweet, mild flavor, it is versatile and can be sautéed, baked, fried, stuffed, or poached, and simple preparations are best.

Let the oven do the hovering

      My husband came back from the fish market this week with some lovely, inn-season filets that were quite reasonably priced. My go-to for sole is usually a quick dusting with flour, simple shallow fry in butter and olive oil, a bit of lemon and capers, parsley if you have it, and nothing could be more delicious and simple. Julia would agree. But, I thought I’d make something a little different by layering the filets over veggies and baking in the oven. Because the veggies take longer to cook than the fish, I gave them a head start in the oven before adding the treasures of the sea.

Tasty and full of soul, this dish also wins the quick and easy award as well.

Switch up the herbs any way you like! Swap a different fish as well, and it needn’t be from the sea, fresh water trout filets here would be delicious.

New England Winter Flounder with Tomatoes and Zucchini

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced or diced
  • 4 cluster tomatoes, chunks
  • Sweet paprika
  • Dried tarragon or thyme
  • Dried basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
  • 1 lb. flounder or sole filets
  • 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan 
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat your baking dish with olive oil and add the tomatoes. Arrange the zucchini around the edges, and sprinkle everything with paprika, a little tarragon or thyme, salt, and pepper. Pop this in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the veggies have just softened,

Place the sole on top of the veggies, overlapping to increase the thickness.

The juice from the vegetables and fish will mingle in the baking to create its own sauce.

Melt the butter, and mix with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Spread in an even layer over the fish, then drizzle all with more olive oil.

Return to the oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the fish has just cooked through and gives no resistance with a little stab of the knife. Garnish with a bit of fresh parsley or basil if available.

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43 Comments Add yours

  1. Delicious seafood dinner with lots of fresh vegetables.

  2. Bernadette says:

    Simple and delicious – a winning combination.

    1. It was so good Bernie! A nice change.

  3. Definitely looks amazing… I must go out and get winter flounder now! Thanks Dorothy!

    1. I’ve been seeing it everywhere! Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Suzassippi says:

    Pretty, colorful, and I love the simple part!

    1. The simple part is always good!

  5. Mary says:

    Any white fish cooked like this would be delicious. I would like a little bit of fresh Oregano in with the Tomatoes too. Delicious dish!! :))

    1. You’re so right Mary. Cod would be delicious, haddock too!

  6. That looks like an amazing dish.

  7. Ronit says:

    This delicious looking dish definitely has “spring” all over it!
    Some off-season items, can be reasonable, but I recommend skipping the strawberries: I was tempted to buy some this week, (they looked fresh and red) only to be totally disappointed by the tough texture and flavor (i.e. NO flavor!).
    I’ve learned my lesson, and I’m passing it on! 🙂

    1. Yes, Ronit, I’ve learned the strawberry lesson the hard way! Local for me, so I’ll practice patience!

  8. Americaoncoffee says:

    Looks delicious and certainly compliments a yummy hot bowl of Clam Chowder.

    1. That would be perfect my friend!

      1. Americaoncoffee says:

        The downside is that there is probably more fresh farm raised fish on the east coast than anywhere else. You’re at a convenient locale.

      2. I am aware that we are lucky here to have so many wonderful sources!

  9. You make it all sound so easy. I just have to clarify, you just put the pan from the stove right in the oven? I’ve never done that but it makes so much sense! This looks fabulous, it’s 3:00 here, and suddenly I’m starving. Hugs, C

    1. Just preheat the oven and after you load the veggies in the pan, pop them in. Give them a little precook, then add the fish and top with crumb mixture and finish cooking. Easy, and really tasty!

  10. nancyc says:

    The buttery breadcrumb-parmesan topping sounds great over this fish! 🙂

    1. Thanks Nancy! I use that topping on a lot of dishes. It’s so good, and it seals in the moisture!

  11. CarolCooks2 says:

    Simple is good my kind of food it looks delicious, Dorothy 🙂

  12. Nancy Richy says:

    My mister is a fisherman, you know. When he brings home flounder, sea bass or other delicate white fish, I cook it for dinner that same night. There’s nothing like fish right out of the ocean! This is a recipe I must try. I’m always looking for wonderful new recipes for fish!

  13. Gail says:

    Give me Soul, Sister! 🌟✨💫

      1. Gail says:

        Counting the minutes. 👏

  14. terrie gura says:

    I’m right there with you in craving some spring, Dorothy! I’ve had an acorn squash sitting in my kitchen since January, but I’m just over it. Love what you did by layering the fish over the par-roasted veggies. I’m sure that flavorful steam did wonderful things for the texture of such a delicate fish!

    1. It was so beautifully tender Terrie! And I could scoop it out with a large spoon and not have it fall apart from pan to plate!

  15. Yum! This just may be dinner tonight!

  16. Nancy says:

    YUM! I live in the desert… so it’s hard to find good fish. But when I go to Pennsylvania it’s easier. Saving this recipe! THANK YOU!

  17. Jenna says:

    Cooking them together makes this so easy!

    1. It was really simple, and hardly any cleanup since i served it right in the baking dish!

  18. Hi Dorothy,
    This looks delicious. I love your recipes!

    1. Thank you so much! We really enjoyed this!

  19. Carolyn Page says:

    This is my style of cooking, Dorothy. Everything in and let it cook.
    Mind you, I wouldn’t have thought to add zucchini. They are super moist and huge in our supermarkets right now…

    1. Yes, we finally got some good zucchini here, but I can’t wait for our own local, some time away I’m afraid!

  20. sunisanthosh says:

    Loved this easy delicious seafood food and vegetables.

    1. It was definitely well received!

  21. Christy B says:

    I’m a long-time fan of fish, and that includes sole. I like how thin and light it is. This dish is one I know I would love!

    1. Thanks Christy. It was really delicious, and easy as well.

  22. Such a delicious and balanced meal! 😋

    1. Thank you! And it was so very easy as well!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Looks delicious! You are blessed to have such a selection of local seafood!

    1. We are very lucky; lots of options, and we are truly grateful.

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