Pacific Dover Sole Rolls with Salmoriglio Sauce

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.

I like these fish fillet rolls as the main course for a light dinner served with rice and a vegetable, like swiss chard.  They would also work well for a light and spicy fish course at a dinner party.  I served this with a rich and creamy Napa Valley Shafer Chardonnay which balances well with  the spicy Salmoriglio sauce.
Ingredients and Directions for  Dover Sole Rolls with Salmoriglio Sauce
 Serves 6 
6 Dover sole fillets, I used Pacific Dover sole from Oregon

About 1 & 1/2 cups cut up coarse country bread
9 tablespoons virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup dried currants, plumped in hot water and drained
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, I used Meyer lemons
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 preserved lemon rind, finely chopped (optional)
2 lemons sliced thin
6 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salmoriglio Sauce
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup mild olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Start the filling by first making the bread crumbs.  Pulse the cut up pieces of bread in a food processor until you have fine crumbs.  Spread the crumbs on a baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Bake until golden color, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and measure out 2/3 cup of crumbs.  Reserve the extra crumbs for another use.
Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saute pan, cook the onions until limp and slightly colored.  Stir in the bread crumbs, anchovy and preserved lemon rind, if using,currants, pine nuts, parsley and half of the lemon and orange juice.  Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and rest until cool.
Oil a baking pan which will comfortably hold your fish fillet roll ups.  Remove the fish fillets from the refrigerator, roll out flat and season with a small amount of salt.  Place a large tablespoon of filling on each fillet and roll up.  Secure with a toothpick, adding a lemon slice and bay leaf to each roll.  Arrange the rolls side by side in the baking dish, sprinkling with oregano and drizzling with the remaining olive oil, lemon and orange juices.
Bake the fish until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
While the fish is baking, make the sauce.  Combine the oregano and garlic in a mortar.  Add the chopped preserved lemon rind, if using.  Grind with a pestle and gradually add the virgin olive oil to make a paste.  Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley, mixing well.  Gradually beat in the milder olive oil.  Serve the Dover sole rolls with the pan sauce and the Salmoriglio sauce drizzled on top.
Share this post →
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone


  1. Patty, what wonderful presentation! I love how the fish fillets are rolled up. I don't think I've ever seen fish served like that.

  2. Hi Patty,

    Mention any kind of seafood and my ears perk up. Show me seafood and I will follow you home. So where do you live again? Teehee. This dish has it all, Patty; lovely presentation, great combination of ingredients, contrast in textures, and I'm sure amazing taste too. I'm always looking for different ways to cook fish and this has sure won me over. Loving the sauce and how simple it is to make. It's always wonderful be able to use something you've grown. Thanks for sharing this fantastic dish Patty.

  3. Gorgeous meal! It sounds delicious.
    I think if I had fresh fragrant bay leaves at my disposal I would use them in everything. I find dried leaves lose their flavour as soon as the package is opened.

  4. Salmoriglio sauce has always been put together for a multitude of dishes while I was growing up…but, here's the hick…I never knew what is was called. LOL Being Italian, should I be embaressed? ;o)

    Alright…this very elegant presentaion is a stunner…and I'm sure too copy you very soon Patty! Now, all I need is a Laurier tree so that I could show-off like you do. LOL

    Btw…thanks for also sharing the 'fishwatch' site…I'll be visiting soon…very interesting.

    Have yourself a fantabulous day,

  5. Patty, I wish we had some global warming here in Nebraska. We've got 8 inches of snow on the ground and it's 3 below zero. I warmed up a lot reading your recipe and seeing the great photographs, though. Thanks. It looks like a super recipe!

    Culinary McCook

  6. Sole is such a delicate fish and the preparation you chose is perfect. I love the color and flavors of the Salmoriglio sauce with it. Beautiful photographs, too :) Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe from Enoteca with us.

  7. What a beautiful and elegant dish! Dover sole is one of my favorites and really is the perfect choice. What a great idea it was to plant laurel trees — I would love to have an endless supply of fresh bay! :)

  8. Gosh, Patty. This dish is so beautiful and elegant. From the fish to the filling to the sauce–it's all my kind of food. We have a laurel tree, too, but I haven't harvested it much. Thanks for inspiring me to do the same. :-)

  9. This was such a nice post to read after a long day at work. Bay leaves always remind me of my mother (it was one of her favorite ingredients to add to our dinner dishes). I love Dover Sole too. It is such a light and delicate fish. Your recipe looked perfect from top to bottom. Thank you for sharing, sweetheart. I hope you have a wonderful Friday…and an even better weekend.

  10. These Dover sole rolls are just gorgeous! I love the filling with currants and pine nuts and the sauce sounds very flavorful! An excellent dish for sure!

  11. I am not a big fan of white fish other than sand dabs and I was a little skeptical when I learned that we were having this for dinner. However, any question about the meal was settled before the first bite when I saw the beautiful plated food in front of me. The fish was served on a small bed of white rice accompanied by sauteed Swiss Chard. The coloring of the dish was quite festive and would have worked really well at Christmas. As pretty as the plate was, the texture of the fish paired with the stuffing of toasted bread crumbs and the sauteed pine nuts was a real palate pleaser. Accompanied by a delicious glass of Shafer Red Shoulder Chardonnay, this was a meal that will not soon be forgotten.

  12. Neat, Patty! You have so many nice things that are able to grow and thrive in your area. Ooh, and this fish looks so delicious. I would totally gobble this up right now if it were in front of me:)
    p.s. I took a picture of my Meyer Lemon sprout for you. I'll send it to you soon. It's funny (smile).

  13. Patty, your photos are stunning! The recipe is mouthwatering and so healthy. I will be bookmarking this to try very soon. My husband loves sole and I know he'll love your recipe too. Happy Valentine's Day!

  14. I have never heard the name of Southern Italian sauce, but I love everything in it and I have eaten something very much like it before, though I can't remember what it was called LOL It was deliciuos, as is yours, I'm sure! Love the photos!

  15. What a beautiful entree. And I love the idea of you growing your own bay leaves!

  16. I love that you're able to grow bay leaves in your garden. It's one of my fave herbs and a mainstay in our cuisine. This dish is so lovely and sole is too good! Nice to have found your blog! Hope we'll visit each other often! :)

  17. A very refined and summery fish dish! I really love the flavors used. Yummy!



  18. Hi Patty: I luv the ingredients of the filling…so many flavorful combinations. Bay leaf is a favorite of mine, especially for soups. I'm going to have to look into planting one for fresh ones. Beautifully presented fillets.

  19. Wow, what a lovely fish roll…love the filling…looks so tasty. Great photos as well :-)

  20. I love the flavors here and I adore currents with fish dishes…gorgeous!
    Hope you had a wonderful valentines :)

  21. Patty, this is a beautiful dish, really. The flavors and presentation are gorgeous. i didn't know this time of year is bay leaf season! I'm going to make this dish for sure since I really the rolled stuffing fish!

    PS: is yellow your fav color? just curious :)

  22. Beautiful combination of flavors! Everything looks mouthwatering :o)

  23. Patty, what a lovely presentation and fantastic pictures. Your dish sounds wonderful and I love how you have fresh bay leaves growing in your yard.

  24. What a lovely meal! Stuffed sole rolls and rice sounds like something I don't mind having every other day. I love all the ingredients in your filling and definitely keep the anchovies in there.

  25. This is my first time seeing this recipe. My mom loves Dover Sole. I may have to make this for her. It would be a nice treat. I'll have to check out Joyce Goldstein's book.

Leave a Comment