Golden Almond-Crusted Sole Fillets


I first sampled this fish one sunny day in June, on the magical terrace of Mini Palais, the restaurant situated inside the Grand Palais museum in Paris. This is such an easy, quick, delicious dish and one that we have often made in class: The entire dish can be prepared several hours in advance and one can easily adjust the number, baking enough fillets to serve two or twenty!

4 servings


A baking sheet lined with baking parchment.


4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter
4 tablespoons (30 g) almond meal (see Notes)
Fine sea salt
Coarse, freshly ground black pepper
8 fresh white-fleshed fish fillets, about 3 ounces (90 g) each (see Note) 
1/2 cup (40 g) sliced almonds


•    Almond meal (sometimes called almond flour) is made from blanched or unblanched (skin-on) almonds. For this recipe, whole, unblanched almonds can be finely ground in a food processor or an electric spice mill. Do not over-process or you may end up with almond butter.

•    Any firm, white-fleshed fish fillets can be used here, such as halibut, flounder, trout, or perch. 


1.    In a small pan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond meal. Season with salt and pepper and stir again. Set aside to cool at room temperature until the mixture hardens and spreads easily. about 1 hour. (Do not refrigerate. The mixture may become too firm to spread.)

2.    Center a rack in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

3.    Place the fillets side by side on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. 

4.    Spread the cooled almond butter over the fillets. Cover the paste with a layer of sliced almonds. Place in the oven and bake the fillets for 4 minutes. To test for doneness, pierce a fillet with a knife set at a 45-degree angle. The fish should be opaque and flake easily. If the almonds are not sufficiently colored, place the fillets under the broiler until golden. Serve immediately.


On that golden day we sampled the golden white from winemaker Olivier Merlin: His Macon la Roche Vineuse is pure, mineral-rich, a pleasure, and a fine match for this almond-flecked fish dish. 

This recipe was first published in The French Kitchen Cookbook. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Warm Oysters with Truffle Cream + Truffles


The sauce for these brilliant, briny oysters is the amazing and versatile. How could the combination of oyster liquor, cream, butter, and truffle juice be bad?
The silken texture of the warmed oyster creates a fine textural contrast to the crunch of the truffle matchsticks.

4 servings



A fine-mesh sieve; a flat, ovenproof serving dish; small jar with a lid; a mandoline or a very sharp knife.


12 large fresh oysters
1 cup (280 g) coarse sea salt
1 fresh black truffle (about 1 ounce; 30 g), cleaned
1/4 cup (60 ml) Truffle Cream (page 189 of Simply Truffles)
About 1 tablespoon truffle juice
2 teaspoons (10 g) Truffle Butter (page 191 of Simply Truffles )
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste


1.  Open the oysters, cut the muscle to extract it from the shell, and filter the oyster liquor through the fine-mesh sieve set over a small saucepan.

2.  Cover the bottom of a heatproof serving dish (it should be large enough to hold the oysters in a single layer) with a thin layer of the coarse salt. Place the opened oysters in their shells on the bed of  salt to keep them stable. Refrigerate.  Within about 15 minutes, the oysters will give off a second, even more flavorful oyster liquor.

3.  Meanwhile arrange a rack in the oven about 5 inches (12.5 cm) from the heat source. Preheat the broiler.

4.  With a vegetable peeler, peel the truffle. Mince the truffle peelings, place in a small jar, and tighten the lid. Reserve the peelings for another use. With the mandoline or very sharp knife, cut the truffle into thick slices. Cut the slices into matchsticks.  

5.  In the saucepan containing the reserved oyster liquor, add the cream and truffle juice and bring to a simmer over low heat.  Whisk the butter and the lemon juice into the sauce, whisking vigorously to give it volume. If  the sauce appears too thick, thin it with additional truffle juice. Add half the truffle matchsticks and just warm them gently. Do not cook them.  

6.  Spoon the sauce over the oysters. Place the baking dish under the broiler just until the oysters are warmed through, no more than 20 to 25 seconds. The sea-fresh aroma of oysters should begin filling the air as the truffles warm up.  

7.  Cover 4 plates with the coarse salt to keep the oysters stable.  Arrange 3 oysters on each plate. Garnish with the remaining truffle matchsticks.  Serve.

Wine suggestion

With oysters, I always reach for a Picpoul de Pinet, a white that grows near the Mediterranean oyster beds, is made with 100 percent Picpoul grape,  and has a distinct acidity and a pleasing, spicy finish. Another great choice is always a Sauvignon Blanc, either a Sancerre or Quincy.

These recipes were originally published in Simply Truffles. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Salmon Sashimi with an Avalanche of Herbs


This is one of the more versatile fish dishes I can imagine. Inspired by Vietnamese cooking, it is the sort of recipe that can link itself to almost any cuisine. All you need is an avalanche of herbs (preferably four or five for variety and pungency), and a sauce that packs a whollop (Vietnamese dipping sauce is ideal here). Though my first instinct is to make this with salmon, the possibilities are endless. Any ultra-fresh fish could be used here, including scallops, halibut or any other firm white fish fillets. I can go wild with herbs: the last time I made this I created a mix of tarragon, basil, mint, chives, and shiso as well as strips of dried seaweed, or nori. I would stay away from fresh herbs that can be overly pungent, such as sage or oregano.

4 servings



4 salad plates, stored in the freezer for at least 1 hour


1 pound (500 g) ultra-fresh, sashimi-grade salmon
1 packed cup (15 g) mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, mint, shiso, and cilantro, rinsed and patted dry  
1 to 2 tablespoons Vietnamese Dipping Sauce, plus extra for serving
Lime wedges, for serving


1.  Slice the salmon as thin as possible and arrange the slices on individual salad plates.

2.  Finely mince the herbs and scatter evenly over the salmon. Sprinkle the lemongrass on top.

3.  At serving time, sprinkle with the dipping sauce. Serve with the lime wedges and additional sauce alongside.

Wine suggestion

A floral white is ideal here. We often enjoy the sashimi with Olivier Leflaive’s 100% Chardonnay Bourgogne blanc, always a good-value white Burgundy.

The Secret

An avalanche of fresh herbs. You can never have too many or too many varieties.


Marinate the salmon in the dipping sauce for added punch and Asian flavor.

This recipe was first published in The French Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Lessons from Paris and Provence.

All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.