Lemon Thyme and Butter Pan Fried Sole with Asparagus and Fennel Risotto

Pan fried lemon butter sole

Yesterday was meat-free Monday, but just wasn’t in the mood for eating vegetarian. So I decided that I would still stick with the meat-free vibe and cook a beautiful piece of fish instead.

I found some beautiful fresh sole at Woolies and bought the “2 for 1” asparagus special which inspired me to make Asparagus and fennel bulb risotto as the accompaniment.

It was scrumptious! Absolutely morish! And we both finished the entire pan of risotto…Recipe below

Serves 2

2 fillets of sole

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Flour for dusting

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

2 sprigs thyme

Juice of 1 lemon


Olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 baby fennel bulb, finely chopped

1 bunch of asparagus, stems chopped and tips kept aside.

¾ cup (190ml) Arborio rice (Risotto rice)

¼ cup (60ml) white wine

2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock (I use Nomu vegetable fond)

1 tbsp butter

30g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Squeeze of lemon juice







To make the risotto:

Heat a heavy based frying pan with a little olive oil and gently fry the onion, garlic, fennel and asparagus stems (not the tips) until soft.

Add the rice and fry for another minute or until translucent.

Pour in the wine and allow to reduce to almost nothing before adding the warm stock, ladle by ladle, while stirring occasionally.

Just before adding the last ladle of stock, add the asparagus tips.

Once rice is cooked and liquid has absorbed, whisk in the butter and cheese and season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Keep warm.







To make the sole:

Season the fish with salt and pepper and dust lightly in flour. Shake off any excess flour and set the fish aside.

Heat another heavy based frying pan with the butter, olive oil and thyme over a medium heat.

Once butter has melted and is sizzling add fish and allow to cook gently on one side for about 1 minute. Flip over and fry the other side for another minute.

Remove pan from heat and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the fish, making a lemon butter sauce.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with the asparagus and fennel risotto.

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