Grilled lemon sole with dumplings & lemon sauce

Great British Menu chef Nathan Outlaw creates a wonderfully light but full-flavoured dish using the best Cornish produce

  • Prep:40 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 15 mins
  • Serves 4
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 897
  • fat 72g
  • saturates 14g
  • carbs 27g
  • sugars 2g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 36g
  • salt 1.09g


  • 4 small lemon sole, trimmed and washed, left whole with head off
  • 200g samphire, to serve
  • 2 large baking potatoes, about 600g (you'll need 300g cooked potato flesh)
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tsp lemon or olive oil, plus extra olive oil for frying and brushing
  • 1½ tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 65g '00' pasta flour
  • 2 tbsp small capers in vinegar, drained, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 egg yolk
  • finely grated zest, 1 tbsp juice of 1 lemon
  • 200ml light olive oil
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • about 75ml fish stock
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. For the dumplings, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Score around the middle of the potatoes, then bake them in their skins for about 1 hr or until soft. Halfway through, rub the whole garlic with a little oil, then roast with the potatoes for 25-30 mins until soft.

  2. Let the potatoes and garlic cool slightly. Halve and scoop out the flesh from the potatoes (you need 300g). Push through a ricer, or mash well. Peel the garlic, push the flesh through a fine sieve, then gently fold into potatoes with the Parmesan and egg yolk, but don’t overwork the mixture. Carefully fold in the flour, 2 tsp oil, the capers, parsley and some seasoning, then gently work the dough into a ball.

  3. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Place the dough on a work surface. Divide into 28 pieces, then shape into small balls (about half the size of a golf ball). Blanch (in batches) in the boiling water for about 2 mins or until the dumplings rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to dry on a clean tea towel. (To prepare 1-2 hrs ahead before frying, remove the dumplings from the boiling water, then place them in a bowl of iced water. When cold, transfer to a tea towel to dry. Coat in a little of the extra oil in a large shallow dish to prevent them sticking together.)

  4. For the sauce, whisk the egg yolk, lemon zest and 1 tbsp juice in a small bowl. Slowly pour in the oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking continuously, until you have a thick-ish mayonnaise. Whisk in the cream, then pour in enough of the fish stock to give a consistency that will coat the back of a spoon. Taste and season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if needed. Chill until ready to serve. Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  5. When ready to serve, heat the grill to high. Lay the fish on 2 well-oiled baking trays and score the skin a few times. Brush a little oil over each fish and season. Grill for about 10 mins, without turning, until the flesh comes easily away from the bone.

  6. While the fish cooks, fry the dumplings. Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Fry the dumplings, turning often, until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm. Bring a pan of water to the boil, cook the samphire for 2 mins, then drain. Gently warm the lemon sauce in a pan, then add the spinach and parsley and allow to wilt. Place some samphire on each plate, lay the fish on top and season with sea salt flakes. Arrange the dumplings in a small pile and pour a little sauce around the fish. Serve the remaining sauce separately.

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