Family Meal

by Chef David Ferguson




Filtering by Tag: seafood

Sole, Green Pea Pesto, Baby Yukon Potatoes, & Spring Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

Prep Time:  30 mins    Cook Time:  30 mins    Serves:  2

With warmer temperatures and the return of Daylight Savings, Spring has officially returned.  Sole is a delightfully light and delicate fish that fits perfectly into this Spring recipe with a sweet and mild flavor.   Sole fillets can be very thin and fragile so it is important to handle them carefully and cook them quickly in a hot pan to avoid overcooking.  

The cucumber and carrots can be shredded with a box grater or cut into a very thin julienne, whichever you are more comfortable with.  If you have the knife control and skill, you might get better results with a julienne.  If you are pressed for time or just not confident enough to make such small cuts, shredding them is perfectly fine.  


  • 2 6-oz Sole fillets
  • 1 cup fresh English sugar peas
  • 8 Baby Yukon potatoes
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup shredded cucumber
  • ½ cup basil; chiffonade
  • ½ cup mint; chiffonade
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice; divided
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ½ shallot; chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic; chopped fine
  • ¾ cup + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Place baby Yukons in a small  sauce pot and enough water to just cover the potatoes.  Salt the water heavily and bring the water up to a low simmer.  Simmer the potatoes until fork tender, about 15 minutes and then remove from the water.  Let potatoes dry on a wire rack before slicing them in ¼” rounds.  Set aside.

Place chicken stock in a small sauce pot and set over medium heat.  Blanch peas in stock until tender then strain, reserving the stock.  Add the peas, half the of the basil and mint and 1 clove of minced garlic to a food processor.  With the motor running add  stock gradually until  smooth.  Add in butter and process until melted.  

Add shallots and garlic to a pan with teaspoon of olive oil and set over medium heat.  Cook shallots and garlic until garlic has begun to brown and shallots are translucent.  Add in white wine vinegar and reduce.  Once vinegar, garlic and shallots  have reduced to a thin syrup remove pan from heat.  Add lemon juice, honey, and reduced shallots and garlic to a blender.  With the motor running, gradually drizzle in olive oil to emulsify.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.  

Place a saute pan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp vegetable oil.  Place potatoes flesh side down in pan.  Cook 2-3 minutes until brown, then flip.  Cook additional 2-3 minutes on opposite side before removing potatoes from pan with a slotted spoon and draining on a paper towel.

Return pan to medium high heat and add reserved vegetable oil.  Season Sole fillets with salt and pepper.  When the pan and oil are very hot, add the sole fillets.  Cook 4-5 minutes before flipping and cooking an additional 4-5 minutes.  

Toss shredded carrot and cucumber along with reserved basil and mint in vinaigrette.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Plate pea green puree with potatoes, serve Sole over potatoes and top with salad.

Pan Seared Diver Scallops, Fried Leeks, with Sauce Verte, & Pistachio Gremolata

Prep Time:  35 mins    Cook Time:  5 mins    Serves:  2

Scallops are a luxurious seafood that when cooked properly yield a soft texture and subtle, sweet flavor.  Searing scallops without overcooking can take a bit of practice, but once you have mastered the technique they will be one of you your favorite items to cook for their versatility.  Like all proteins, getting a good sear on scallops requires a few steps.  Scallops should be rinsed, patted dry, and allowed to come up to room temperature before searing in a very hot pan.  The time in the pan won’t be much, merely a minute or so each side.  You will be able to see them caramelize at the edges, indicating it is time to flip.  Due to their short cooking time, it is possible for you to complete all other items in the recipe and get them on the plate before turning your complete attention to cooking the scallops.  


  • 1 lb fresh diver scallops
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup leeks; thinly sliced into 2” segments
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley; divided
  • ½ cup chopped chervil leaves
  • ½ cup chopped chives
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped; divided
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chopped anchovy
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pistachios
  • 1 lemon; juiced and zested
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


    Place a high sided pan over medium heat along with the vegetable oil and allow to come up to temperature.  To prepare the leeks, cut the white and pale green part off of the stem. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly (try to keep each half in tact).  Thinly slice the leeks into even pieces, about 2" -inches long. Dry thoroughly.  Test the oil with a few pieces to make sure the oil is the correct temperature and not too hot or cold.  Using a slotted spoon, lower the leeks into the oil. Fry them for about 1 to 2 minutes, just until they turn golden. Be careful of any splattering oil. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
    In a blender, combine  1 cup parsley, chervil, chives, 2 cloves garlic, shallot, anchovy, capers and lemon juice. Pulse to puree. With the motor running, very slowly drizzle in 1 cup of the olive oil until it is thoroughly incorporated. Transfer to a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Combine the reserved parsley and garlic along with the pistachios, lemon, and red pepper in a small bowl; let stand 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.  Place a large saute pan over high heat with reserved tbsp olive oil and butter.  Season both sides of the scallops liberally with salt and pepper and wait for the pan to come up to temperature.  When the pan is hot (thin wisps of smoke should be coming off the pan), gently add the scallops one at a time to the pan, making sure they are not touching each other.  Move quickly and ensure they have even contact with the pan.  Cook for one minute, looking for browning at the edges, then flip.  The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center