As fans of the internationally acclaimed television series Downton Abbey are very aware of, the American release of season three is underway and there is really no better way to celebrate than enjoying the food of the era when the show takes place. So as you get ready to venture back into the abbey for another season, settle down with some wonderful authentic Edwardian cuisine.
There are many people who wonder why the aristocrats of the Edwardian era were not overweight, especially considering the food they ate. Two simple reasons: first, the food was natural with no preservatives. Second, the portions were very small. Of course there is also the fact the ladies of the era were tied into corsets!
With this dish, we did something different. We actually prepared it just as Mrs. Patmore (the cook at Downton Abbey) would have. We made the pesto using a mortar and pestle. Regarding the pesto, during the Edwardian era this pesto would have been made with English walnuts. We adapted that part of the original recipe and are using sunflower seeds. If you are not accustomed to the fish known as sole, it is a very thin fillet and you should count on two fillets per person.
For a complete how-to slideshow on making Fillet of Sole with Sunflower Pesto, go to the free Facebook page called The Food of Downton Abbey.
Ingredients needed to make Fillet of Sole with Sunflower Pesto (serves 2):
- 4 sole fillets
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs. cream
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. sunflower seeds
- Wipe off any excess moisture from the sole.
- In a shallow dish, whisk the egg and cream.
- Sip the sole into the egg wash.
- Dredge (coat) the sole in the flour.
- In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the sole and saute a few minutes per side.
- Into a mortar, add the parsley, garlic, olive oil and sunflower seeds and grind with the pestle until you have a pesto. You can also be lazy and use a food processor.
- Place the sauteed sole on serving plates, top with some pesto and serve.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."