This flounder dish is simply elegant, and elegantly simple as well. At its heart is a wonderfully flavorful Southern Italian eggplant appetizer called caponata, coupled with the gentle green bite of arugula leaves. The rolls are steamed over chicken stock, which is then reduced to make the golden, buttery glaze that finishes the dish.
Jars of caponata can be found in most supermarkets in either the Italian section or with the specialty appetizers. For the best flavor of all, make your own at home with this excellent and authentic recipe.Makes 2 servings of Flounder Rolls with Caponata & Arugula
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 6oz skinless flounder fillets
- Salt and pepper (preferably white pepper)
- Baby arugula leaves (about 16-20)
- 1/4 cup caponata (drained slightly if very moist)
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heat the chicken stock, water, and bay leaf in a wok or steamer base over medium-high heat.
Rinse and dry the fillets well with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the fillets with the smoother side down (the side that had the skin; it’s often slightly darker as well.) Cover the surface of the fillet with arugula leaves, overlapping slightly. Place about 2 tablespoons of the caponata on the fillet, about 1/3 of the way down from the thicker end. Carefully roll the thick end over the filling and secure well with thin skewers or toothpicks. Place the rolls in the steamer basket (see Notes) but don’t place the basket over the steam yet.
Cut two thin center slices from the lemon and reserve; squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon over the fish. (Add the lemon rinds to the steaming stock for additional flavor.) Dust with paprika.
When the stock comes to a boil, put the steamer basket in place and cover. Check fillets after 7 minutes: if they flake at the thickest part, they’re done. If not, steam for an additional 2 minutes or longer depending on thickness.
Remove steamer basket and let fillets rest. Add the butter to the stock and simmer until reduced and thickened. Cut rolls and plate them cut side up. Spoon sauce over fish and garnish with lemon slices.
- To prevent sticking, coat the inside of the steamer basket with cooking spray.
- You can also place the fish on lettuce leaves or small squares of oiled cooking parchment.
Variation: Try this dish using a Spanish olive tapenade and baby spinach leaves in place of the caponata and arugula. Sprinkle with smoked paprika instead of sweet.