The Mediterranean Bay Laurel trees I planted a few years back as a screen between my house and the neighbors create an endless supply of bay leaves for many of my cooking projects. At one point I worried that a big freeze would wipe them out, like what happened to the eucalyptus trees in the Berkeley Hills in the deep freeze of 1972. However, with the warm winters we have now, most likely due to global warming, I will have bay leaves for years to come. I like to use them in soups and stews but they’re also fun to use with lemons on skewers with fish. The original recipe that I liked for this dish calls for swordfish to be pounded thin before being filled and rolled. However, I found Pacific Dover sole at Whole Foods in fillets, ready to be stuffed and rolled before baking. We can relax and enjoy this type of fish as the population levels for Dover sole are high and they are not being over fished according to Fishwatch.
Now that we have the right fish, we’re good to go for the accompanying filling and sauce recipes. The Salmoriglio sauce is a popular sauce for fish throughout Southern Italy. I read several recipe versions of this classic sauce but have adapted the one I used here from Joyce Goldstein’s Enoteca, a small cookbook featuring authentic recipes in the Italian wine bar tradition. The sauce is a mellow herbal green color that is redolent with oregano, garlic, fresh parsley and lemon juice.
The filling is composed of bread crumbs lightly toasted in drizzled olive oil, onion, dried currants, toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley, lemon and orange juice, dried oregano and anchovy fillets. I baked my sole fillets and served them warm but they could be made ahead and served at room temperature.