This heart-healthy dish is packed with lean protein and good fats, while also bursting with other nutrients and flavor. The combination of spinach, almonds, dates and apricots provides a slightly sweet, subtle crunch and beautiful color. Plus, 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 received a gift for dinner.
- 1 or 2 organic shallots
- 2 wild sole fillets (about 5 ounces each)
- 1 organic lemon
- 2 sheets parchment paper
- ¼ pound organic baby spinach
- 1½ ounces dried apricots
- 2 Medjool dates (with or without pits)
- ¼ cup roasted almonds
- 4 or 5 sprigs organic fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Olive oil
- Fine-toothed grater
- Medium frying pan
- Sheet pan
1. Prep the shallots, sole, and lemon.
Heat the oven to 400°F. Peel and thinly slice enough shallots to measure ¼ cup. Pat the sole dry with a paper towel; season lightly with salt and pepper. Zest the lemon. Juice half; thinly slice the other half.
2. Assemble the parchment 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. Drizzle each with 1 teaspoon 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.
3. 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 bakes, prepare the salad.
4. Make the date and apricot salad.
Thinly slice 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.
In a medium frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 teaspoons 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 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, and transfer to individual plates. Spoon the date and apricot salad on top and alongside and serve.
- Measure the shallots.
- Juice the lemon.
- Fold up the parchment packets.
- Pull the dates away from their pits.
- Strip the parsley leaves.