Sole Piccata

When I buy fish, it is usually orange roughy, tilapia or turbot but, this time I saw sole and wanted to try it.

Sole is a delicate fish in more ways than one.  It has a mild delicate flavor but is downright frail as it cooks and you must be careful when handling it.  So, turn it carefully, plate it with even more care and hope that it does not break apart.  If it does, don’t worry about it ~ just eat it.

Since sole is a mild fish, it needs some help and capers come to the rescue.  If you have never cooked with capers, you are in for a treat as they definitely have a unique taste.  

A caper is a spiny perennial bush that bears rounded, fleshy leaves and white to pinkish-white flowers that grows like a weed in the Mediterranean.  A caper is also a pickled bud of this plant.  They have a sour, salty taste from the pickling and come in a variety of sizes; small is better.  One of the classic ways to eat capers is a lemon sauce which leads us to this delightful Sole Picatta. 

The sauce in this dish combines butter, garlic, lemon juice, wine and capers.  Whatever white wine you are enjoying with your dinner will also be fine in the sauce.  This will actually work well with most thin skinless fillets of fish.  The combined flavors are great and it is quick to prepare.  I served it with brown rice and steamed broccoli for a healthy delicious meal. 

By the way, here’s the definition of piccata:  Piccata is an Italian word meaning “larded.”  It is used in reference to a way of preparing food; it means “sliced, sautéed and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter and spices.”  So, here’s the Sole Piccata recipe:

Sole Piccata


1 pound sole fillets
¼ cup flour
Salt and pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons small capers
2 tablespoons lemon juice


Season the fillets with a little salt and pepper.
Dust with flour.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over moderately high heat.
Add the sole and sauté until the fillets are a little browned, a minute per side.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same skillet, heat the butter and add the garlic and onions, cook for about 2 minutes.
Deglaze the skillet with the wine, scrapping up any bits.
Add capers and lemon juice. 
Bring back to a simmer.
Place the fillets carefully into the sauce.
Sauté the fish for about 3-4 minutes per side.
Arrange the fish on serving platter and pour remaining sauce over the fish.
Serve immediately

Pam’s note:  I like this sauce so much that I double the recipe!  



  1. I make this fish too, with tomatoes capperi and olives!!
    Good Pam!

  2. I have no idea what fish is this. And I wonder what is caper.
    Nevermind, at least I learned something today. :)

  3. I love making piccata dishes...chicken or fish, though I keep saying I want to try it with pork some time too! I never use capers though, not a fan, so I guess I don't make a true piccata! :) Yours looks great!

  4. I like to make chicken piccata when the chicken cutlets are on sale, makes for a quick, easy and tasty dinner. I love capers and use them often. I haven't tried it with sole yet....on my list!

  5. That is a great way of cooking such delicate fish! Well done!

  6. capers, butter, lemon juice-delicious. This flavor combination really adds a new level of flavor to the mild white fish.

  7. I just love turbot, but the cost of it here or in the UK is way beyond our pocket unless it is for something very special. Sole is not cheap either and I actually find the flavour too delicate. I would rather have a white fish with a bit more flavour. Your sauce though looks magic. I will try it with one of the cheaper fish that I get here. We are lucky that all the shell fish is cheap in France, so we are inclined to stick to that or salmon which varies in price. Diane

  8. Thanks for posting this recipe. It reminded me how much I love this dish and how long it has been since I have eaten it. I do love sole, but it is a bugger to work with. It is the sauce, anyway, that makes it. Most any fish would love to be dressed in a sauce like that.

  9. I would make double the sauce too. This sole dish looks amazing.

  10. This looks so good! Sole is available in my Fish Dept., so I will be preparing this yummy fish dish. Thanks!

  11. I love sole, normally cook it with fermented soya bean.

  12. So jealous that you can get orange roughey - my all time favourite fish, but totally unavailable here.

    I love capers, so this dish is on my "try very soon" list!!

  13. Fantastic sole dish. Great job!


  14. Zia Elle, I bet yours is delicious with the tomatoes! Thanks and you have a good day!

    Little Inbox, the fish is a mild whitefish and the capers are pretty unique tasting, tangy, salty and a little bitter.

    Jenn, chicken piccata is wonderful! Capers are one of those things you either like or don't like; no middle of the road. Thanks!

    Lyndsey, you'll have to try it with sole now. It's really great with fish. I would think it would work well with pork also and I'll have to try that sometime. Thanks for the suggestion!

    3 hungry tummies, sole definitely needs some help like I said! This kicked it up a notch pretty good!

    Velva, thanks! I'm glad you liked it and thanks for the visit!

    Food, Fun and Life in the Charente, sole absolutely does not have the flavor of the other fishes so this sauce worked great with it. That's too bad that turbot is so expensive by you. It definitely has a great taste. Shell fish is higher priced here. So you are lucky in that. And salmon is my favorite. I even like it right out of the can!

    Susan, sole is difficult to work with, it definitely takes a light hand and not "playing" with it too much. And the sauce is what it's all about!

    Pam, you've got it! It really needed a double dose! ;)

    JG, great! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

    Pete, that sounds good too! Thanks for stopping by!

    Brownieville Girl, interesting with the orange roughy! It truly is one of the best and it's too bad it isn't available for you in Ireland!

    Lazaro Cooks, thanks! I'm glad you like it and hope you give it a try!

  15. Mmmm the piccata looks perfect!

  16. What an interesting recipe! I've never tried sole before, but now I want to !

  17. Love your sole dish...looks delicious with the sauce...capers...yummie!

  18. Sook, thanks! It's great!

    Deborah, thank you! The sauce makes it really delicious!

    Juliana, I'm glad you like it! Capers are perfect for the sole!

  19. that looks wonderful! really good

  20. Looks delicious! Love Picatta, will have to try it with Sole. Sometimes I use brined green peppercorns instead oft he capers!

  21. Sandi, thanks! You know a good thing!

    Dishesdone, I've never used peppercorns and will have to try that! Thanks for the idea!

  22. Thanks so much for showing that photo with the caperberries.... i never knew what they looked like growing!

  23. lostpastremembered, you're welcome! Thanks for the visit!

  24. Are you sure these fruits can be eaten? But they look so good though. Wish I could try some too! Thanks for sharing, dear!

  25. My Little Space, yes, I'm sure! I've been eating them for years and they have a very unique flavor!

  26. Lemon and capers such a great combination, I could skip the fish and just eat the sauce.

  27. I have a lemon picatta posting on my blog in a couple of weeks. I love it. The mister is just ok with it. I use a little cream in mine. Don't know why? Must have been the way my Granny taught me. I love the idea of putting it on fish! I must try that!

  28. Mimi, I kind of thought of that myself! Love the sauce and needed a double dose of it!

    S and S, I will be watching for yours! I've seen some recipes using cream in it and will have to try it. Granny must've been on to a good thing!


Celery is as fresh and clean as a rainy day after a spell of heat. It crackles pleasantly in the mouth.... it should be eaten alone, for it is the only food which one really wants to hear oneself eat.
~ A.A. Milne, "A Word for Autumn,"

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