Sole in parchment with warm date and apricot salad

paleo, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Low Calorie

2 Servings, 530 Calories/Serving

20 Minutes

As a cooking vessel, parchment paper is a cook’s best friend. It means one less pot to clean, and when you sit down to eat, you feel like you got a gift for dinner. Here, quick-cooking sole fillets steam until flaky, in packages along with tender spinach and lemon slices. The easy side salad lends the dish a distinct North African flavor. For a strictly paleo version, steam the fish with a little olive oil instead of butter.


  • 1 or 2 shallots
  • Two 5-ounce sole fillets
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sheets parchment paper
  • ¼ pound baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
  • 1½ ounces dried apricots
  • 2 Medjool dates
  • 1½ ounces roasted almonds
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sumac



Prep the shallots, sole, and lemon

Heat the oven to 400°F.
  • Peel and thinly slice the shallots.
  • Pat the sole dry with a paper towel; season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Zest the lemon. Cut half into 4 thin slices for the parchment packets; juice the remaining half and set aside the zest and juice for the salad.


Assemble the packets

Lay the parchment paper sheets side by side. Divide the shallots and spinach between the 2 sheets and season with salt and pepper. Top with the sole and lemon slices. Dot each with 1 tablespoon butter or 2 teaspoons oil.
Working with 1 sheet at a time, bring 2 opposite sides of the parchment to the center and fold them together several times to create a tight seam. Fold up each end to form a tight seal.


Bake the packets

Place the packets on a sheet pan, sealed sides up, and bake until the parchment is puffed and browned and the sole is tender when pierced with a skewer or sharp knife, 12 to 15 minutes. While the sole cooks, make the apricot and date salad.


Prep the apricot and date salad ingredients

  • Coarsely chop the dried apricots.
  • Pull the dates away from their pits; thinly slice the dates.
  • Coarsely chop the almonds.
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.


Make the warm salad

In a medium frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the apricots, dates, and almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until just warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, parsley, and sumac. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



Open the sole packets, being careful of any venting steam. Transfer the contents of the packets to individual plates, spoon the salad on top and alongside, and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 530, Protein: 23 g, Total Fat: 33 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.5 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 55 mg, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Fiber: 7 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 650 mg

Contains: fish, tree nuts, milk

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