Recipe: Sautéed Flounder

Holly Herrick, author of Southern Farmers Market Cookbook, shares a recipe for delicious Sautéed Flounder.

Sautéed Flounder

With fresh tomato, corn and avocado salsa

-Adapted from Southern Farmers Market Cookbook, by Holly Herrick (Gibbs-Smith, 2009)

 Southern Farmers Market Cookbook

Most fortuitously, the twin beauties of summer – corn and tomatoes – are in peak season at the same time of year. They work beautifully here, bound with the mellow, round flavor of (non-local, sorry) avocado and the milkiness of fresh, sautéed flounder. Though often fried, this fish is superb fresh from a hot pan cooked simply with a bit of olive oil and butter. The salsa can be made ahead since it gains flavor depth over time (up to six hours) and the fish is cooked in a flash, making this a cool dish for warm weather dining.
Serves 6.

Sautéed FlounderFor the salsa:
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
1⁄2 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
Juice of 1⁄2 lime
3 green onions, vertically sliced and chopped
Corn kernels cut from 1 ear of fresh, cooked corn
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1⁄4 cup good-quality olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 saffron threads
Dash of local honey
Dash of cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the fish:
6 flounder fillets (about 6 ounces each), skinned
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh basil, chopped


To prepare the salsa, make the tomatoes easy to peel by submerging them in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then removing and submerging in cold water. This will help the skin peel off; all you need to do is pull it off with your fingers or with the assistance of a paring knife. Gently combine the tomatoes and the remaining salsa ingredients in a medium bowl, folding with a wooden spoon to prevent breaking the avocados; season carefully to taste. Refrigerate and store for up to 6 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Prepare the fish just minutes before serving. Rinse the fillets carefully and examine for any bones that need removal. Pat dry with a kitchen or paper towel. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and oil. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the fish in a single layer in the pan. Cook about 2 minutes on each side, flipping only once. When the fish is golden brown and just opaque in the center, serve immediately with a generous serving of room temperature salsa and a sprinkling of basil.

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