Fillet of Sole over Mango and Chayote Salad
Here’s a simple little dish that is totally restaurant worthy but also incredibly easy to make.
The only little difficulty, if there is one, would be in julienning (is that an actual verb? Well, if it isn’t, I just made it one!) the mango and chayote. Truth be told, though, it isn’t even a real obstacle. The mango can be a little tricky to julienne because it tends to be a bit slippery and wants to escape your fingers, but its flesh is so soft and yielding that your favorite knife will have no problem tackling the task for you.
As for the chayote, I find the best way to go about it is with the help of my trusty mandoline; if you don’t have one, though, don’t sweat it (but plan on getting one eventually, like really!). It will take a few more minutes to get the job done if using a nicely sharpened chef knife, but chayote has such a firm yet easy to slice flesh, very similar to that of a Granny Smith Apple, you won’t have any problem at all getting it to cooperate. Oh, and if you’ve never tasted chayote before, I think you really oughta try it. As my daughter puts it, it tastes exactly like what freshly cut grass smells like. As strange as it may sound, I have to agree with her. It does have a faint taste of freshly cut grass, and the texture of watermelon rind, like the white part. Very refreshing!
Once the julienning is out of the way, there’s virtually nothing to this Fillet of Sole over Mango and Chayote Salad recipe. It comes together in the blink of an eye!
All you want to do is place the julienned mango, chayote and bell pepper, chopped parsley and mint, freshly squeezed lime juice, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a fairly large mixing bowl. Then, gently toss all the ingredients until they are evenly distributed and set aside.
If you wanted to, you could also make this salad ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you were ready to serve your dish, for up to a full day.
Sure, a little bit of water (or more like super tasty juice) will accumulate at the bottom of the bowl but it’s not at all unpleasant. Plus, you can choose to add it to the plates… or not. Or, you could even spoon some over the fish, why not?
When you and your guests are good and ready to eat, melt some ghee in a non-stick skillet set over medium heat;
While the fat is heating up, pat the fillets of sole really dry, sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper on both sides and then place them in the hot pan. You want to make sure you leave ample room for air to circulate around the fillets, so they have a chance to brown as opposed to boil. If your pan isn’t large enough to accommodate all of your fillets at once, simply cook them in batches, like 2 at a time.
Besides, the fillets only have to cook for about one minute per side, or until a lightly golden crust forms and their flesh turns opaque.
Divide your reserved salad between 4 plates, top with a fillet of sole and garnish with a handful of micro-greens.
Of course, here, I’m assuming that you are serving this dish as an appetizer, like I did, but you could also choose to make it into a light lunch, or dinner. In that case, you might want to divide it between only 2 diners, or double the recipe.
Whatever you do, make sure you serve this dish as soon as it’s plated. The contrast between the hot, salty fish and the cold, sweet salad is absolutely divine. If you waited too long, you would inevitably affect that hot/cold contrast very negatively.
And that would be a shame…
Fillet of Sole over Mango and Chayote Salad
- 1-2 tsp ghee store-bought or homemade
- 4 small fillets of sole, about 50g|1.75oz each
- 1 ripe mango, julienned
- 1 chayote, finely julienned
- 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
- the juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Microgreens to garnish
- Place the mango, chayote, bell pepper, parsley, mint, lime juice, salt, pepper and cayenne in a mixing bowl. Gently toss the ingredients until they are evenly distributed; set aside.
- Melt the ghee in a non-stick skillet set over medium heat; while the fat is heating up, pat the fish fillets really dry, sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper on both sides and then place them in the hot pan. Make sure you leave ample room for air to circulate around the fillets. If your pan isn't large enough to accommodate all of your fillets, cook them 2 at a time.
- Cook the fillets for about one minute per side, or until a lightly golden crust forms and the fish turns opaque.
- Divide the reserved salad between 4 plates, top with a fillet of sole and garnish with a handful of microgreens.
- Serve immediately.