4 Dover sole, 300–400g each, skinned, trimmed and heads removed olive oil for cooking.
Cornish sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the clams and sauce
400g live Palourde clams, well washed
Olive oil for cooking
1 banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, outer layer removed, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 bay leaves
200ml white wine
50ml double cream
200g cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons curly parsley, picked and chopped
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, picked and chopped
A few drops of lemon juice (optional)
For the roasted garlic aïoli
1 garlic bulb
400ml olive oil, plus a drizzle
2 large egg yolks
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Take the Dover sole out of the fridge to bring them to room temperature before cooking.
Image by David Loftus
To prepare the roasted garlic aïoli
Preheat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas Mark 7. Wrap the garlic bulb in a piece of foil with some salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Place in an oven dish and bake for 1 hour until soft. Unwrap the garlic and leave until cool enough to handle, then separate the cloves and squeeze out the soft garlic pulp.
Put the egg yolks, lemon zest and juice and the roasted garlic pulp into a blender or food processor. Blitz briefly to combine, then, with the motor running on a low speed, add the olive oil through the funnel in a thin, steady stream until it is all incorporated and the aïoli is thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste and blend for 30 seconds. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To prepare the clams and sauce
Place a large pan (that has a tight-fitting lid) over a medium-high heat. When it is hot, add a good drizzle of olive oil, then the shallot, fennel and carrot. Sweat for 2 minutes without colouring. Add the garlic and bay leaves and cook for another minute. Now add the clams and wine and put the lid on the pan. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the clam shells open. Tip the clams, along with the vegetables, into a colander set over a bowl to catch the juices.Wipe out the pan and put it back on the heat. Tip the collected wine and clam juices back into the pan and simmer to reduce by half then add the cream. Now lower the heat and gradually whisk in the cold diced butter. The butter will emulsify into the juices to make the sauce base. When it is all incorporated, set the sauce aside; keep warm.
If you prefer, you can remove the clams from their shells. Either way, discard any that haven’t opened. Set aside while you cook the fish.
To cook the Dover sole
Oil a large, shallow roasting tray (big enough to hold all 4 fish) and sprinkle with salt. Season the fish well with salt and lay on the tray (with the side the dark skin has been removed from uppermost).
Oil the fish generously and bake for 10–12 minutes until cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest while you finish the sauce; keep warm.
To assemble and serve
Warm the sauce gently, then add the clams, 3 tablespoons of the reserved vegetables and all of the chopped parsley. Taste the sauce for seasoning and acidity, adding a little salt and/or a few drops of lemon juice if you think it needs it. Carefully lift the fish from the roasting tray onto warmed plates.
Share the sauce, vegetables and clams equally among the 4 plates and finish with a good spoonful of aïoli on the side. Serve immediately.
Extracted from Restaurant Nathan Outlaw by Nathan Outlaw (Bloomsbury Absolute, £40)