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Playing Filet of Sole Cutlets with Lemon-Chard Pesto, Spring Vegetables and Arugula


  • 1/2 pound Swiss chard or fancy spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons toasted walnut, hazelnut or almond pieces plus 1/3 cup ground toasted nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 lemons, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • About 1/3 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary and thyme
  • 4 sole filets
  • About 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 3 large eggs
  • Safflower or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bunch pencil-thin asparagus, trimmed of tough ends and sliced on bias into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup shelled peas
  • 1 bunch spring onions, whites and light greens sliced on bias
  • 1 bunch (3 to 4 cups) fancy or baby arugula


Serves: 4


Combine chard or spinach in a food processor with toasted nut pieces, cheese, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, juice of 1/2 lemon, garlic, EVOO, salt and pepper. Process into a pesto and remove to serving dish.
In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs with the ground nuts, finely chopped herbs, salt and pepper. In a second dish, add flour and season with salt and pepper; in a third dish, whisk up eggs.

Heat a shallow layer of oil in very large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Dress sole filets first in flour, then egg and then the breadcrumbs, and fry until deep golden. Drain on wire rack.
While the fish cooks, melt butter a large sauté pan over medium heat. When it foams, sauté the asparagus, peas and spring onions to tender-crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Remove vegetables from heat.
Dress arugula with juice of 1/2 lemon and a drizzle of good olive oil. Combine greens with asparagus.  Serve fish topped with pesto, with lemon wedges and vegetables alongside.


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