Everyday Cooking

Butter-Seared Sole with Snap Peas, Dill + Capers

May 21, 2013

Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: A nostalgic white fish dinner that has all the makings of an elegant bistro meal.  

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A crisp, flaky filet of fish bathed in butter, to me, is transformative. It’s a method that combines basic pantry staples and, in the case of this recipe, a few pieces of mild white fish to create a dinner that’s refined, subtle and special. It takes me somewhere else when I eat it – sitting on the deck of a bistro, say, with a coordinated outfit and plans to spend the afternoon wandering. It’s a memorable one-skillet dinner with clear, soft flavors and a side of fancy.

To speed up trimming snap peas, line up 4 or 5 in a row and trim the tough end with one decisive chop of a sharp chef’s knife. It adds to the recipe’s charm (and quick prep time).

Butter-Seared Sole with Snap Peas, Dill + Capers

Serves 4

4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
4 (4-ounce) skinless Dover sole fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces snap peas, trimmed
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill
2 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
3 to 4 tablespoons Meyer or regular lemon juice, to taste

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that’s being published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.

Photos by Caroline Wright

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  • Alok Deshpande
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Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter.


Alok D. June 9, 2013
Great recipe!
Greenstuff May 21, 2013
I love Dover sole too (and I mean real Dover sole, not the Pacific fish with the same name--if you're out here go for the Petrale sole). But can you get it cheaply enough to feed 4 for under $20? Granted your portion size is way smaller than the fish lovers in my family, but even in Dover, England, I've found it to be a splurge.
Merrill S. May 21, 2013
This makes my mouth water! I love Dover sole.