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Sole Fillets with Toasted Pine Nuts, Lemon, and Basil

Steve Hunter

Servings: two.

Fortunato Nicotra, the executive chef of Felidia in New York City, likes to serve this simple Sicilian dish of sole with olive-oil mashed potatoes. If you can’t find sole or flounder, use trout or catfish. It’s easier to sauté the fillets in a nonstick skillet, though you’ll have more brown bits to scrape into the sauce if you use a regular pan.


  • 4 small sole or flounder fillets (about 3 oz. each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (see How to toast nuts for more flavor and crunch)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 660
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 490
  • Fat (g): 54
  • Saturated Fat (g): 8
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 32
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 1300
  • Carbohydrates (g): 8
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 41


  • Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Heat 4 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Sauté the fillets on one side (in batches if necessary) until the edges begin to turn opaque (about 2 minutes) and then turn them over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to finish. Transfer the fillets as they’re cooked to a warm plate. When all the fillets are cooked and removed from the pan, carefully pour the lemon juice into the pan, scrape up any browned bits, and boil the juice to reduce it to about 1 Tbs., about 1 minute. Add the pine nuts and basil and remove the pan from the heat. Put the fillets on serving plates and spoon the contents of the pan over all. Drizzle the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil over as well.


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Reviews (6 reviews)

  • Doughman | 05/11/2021

    5 stars for the food, altogether! BUT, I will say that 1/2 cup of pine nuts for this dish was way too much -- should be 1/4 cup. Wondering if there was a mistake and if the recipe needs a test kitchen run?

  • kargardn | 01/29/2020

    So easy and delicious. I will definitely make this again!

  • Indy_G | 10/19/2011

    This is a home run recipe. It's so simple to make and has a fantastic mix of subtle flavours. The basil/lemon/pine nut sauce is sublime. Highly, highly recommend this one.

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