School of Fish: Dover Sole with Marsala Sauce

by Joanne on January 7, 2015

Along with trying to keep fit in this frigid wintery weather, we have been eating healthy …again.  The holidays are over, the cookies gone, candy canes put away (although when I crave sweets, my go to candy is peppermint) and the focus is on fruits (fresh and dried-no sugar added)  to satisfy the sweet tooth.  

To keep the heart pumping and metabolism burning, Ted’s taken to doing some vigorous cycling workouts using a DVD.  As for me, my running hasn’t been vigorous since the aching knee keeps my speed in check.  The goal, as I said before, is simply to pack on the miles in hopes to complete the marathons I’ve signed up for in the first and second quarters of 2015.  Those marathons are Phoenix, AZ in February,  Boston, MA in April, and finally Grandma’s in Duluth, MN at the end of June.

How are you keeping fit this cold, wintery season?

A Dover Sole recipe with Marsala Sauce based on Chef Ben Pollinger’s “School of Fish” recipe.

Dover sole is a firm, moist, meaty white fish.  It’s delicate but a bit firmer than flounder.  It’s also the perfect fish for this recipe by Chef Ben Pollinger of Oceana and author of the book School of Fish.  Recipe found on page 348 of the book.  *Adjusted for my taste.


First, what is Marsala Sauce?  It’s a sauce made with Marsala wine used to enhance the flavor of the protein.  The base is made from tomato, or mushroom or fruit.  Typically, the recipe will include onions, garlic, mushrooms, cream, butter and herbs. The Marsala wine is used to demiglaze or added last. 

Serves 2

  • 2 x 14 to 16 oz dover sole fillets, boned, skinned.
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 TBS canola oil
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter or use Smart Balance, a healthier choice to some

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

Pat the sole dry.  Season with salt and pepper on both sides and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Pat the fish dry a 2nd time then dredge with flour, patting down so it adheres to both sides of the fish.

Heat 2 TBS oil in a 12 inch fry pan over medium high heat.  When hot. Add the fish and sauté for 3 minutes.  Carefully flip the fish over and sauté another 1 minutes. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 180 F.  Remove the sole from the pan to the baking sheet and place in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

In the same sauté pan, heat the remaining oil  over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook 1 minute.  Add the onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper and toss the mixture around in the pan.  Add the wines, water, seasoning and cook an additional 4 minutes or until reduced by 1/2 .

Stir in the butter or Smart Balance and cook another minute.

Remover sole from the oven and place one piece at a time in a serving platter, covering each piece with a large tablespoon of sauce.  Cover the sole with all the remaining sauce.


Such a flavorful meal with very little labor.  Just a few ingredients and look at this delicious dish.


Do you like sauces?  What is your favorite sauce to make? 

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  • At 2015.01.10 14:25, Mary said:

    I used to have a big bottle of Marsala wine in the fridge, used it in a lot of things but never have made Marsala sauce! Sounds like that was an oversight that I need to remedy, this looks good! As far as how I’m staying fit you can guess that! I’m getting ready to skate at Adult Sectionals in March and I hope Adult Nationals in April. I hope your knee holds up so you can do all the events that you want to do.

    • At 2015.01.12 14:13, Pam said:

      I’m really enjoying spin and the Y but it’s not too cold down here.

      I love marsala, minus the flour and butter of course.

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