Cornmeal-Crusted Petrale with Tomato-Tarragon Relish

Cornmeal-Crusted Petrale with Tomato-Tarragon Relish

This recipe, which I created for Fine Cooking’s Make It Tonight column—dishes that can be made in 30 minutes or less—features a simple preparation of delicate fish with a sweet-bright tomato topping, and is a delicious showcase for late summer produce. To change it up, try using basil, parsley, or chives instead of the tarragon.

Serves 4

  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds petrale sole fillets (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes, ideally a mix of colors
  • 1/4 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a shallow bowl or pie pan, combine the cornmeal, flour, white pepper, and salt. Place the eggs in a second shallow bowl or pie pan.

In each of 2 large skillets over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Working in batches, dip the fish fillets in the eggs, then the cornmeal mixture, and cook until opaque and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to plates, sprinkle with salt, and tent loosely with foil. Wipe out the skillets, if necessary, and repeat with the remaining fish (you might not to do a second batch, and if you do, you might not need both skillets),

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, corn, shallot, vinegar, tarragon, and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Spoon the relish on top of the fish. Serve any remaining relish at the table.

NOTE I’m partial to petrale, a West Coast delicacy, but you can use whatever sole, flounder, or other thin fish fillet you like.