Sole in Vermouth

Vermouth is always good with fish, having a stronger flavour than any white wine and, as I’m not tempted to drink it on its own, I always seem to have some. Sole is one of the finest fish but alas now very expensive. However, we all deserve a great treat every now and then. So enjoy.


  • 8 fillets of sole
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 150g/6oz butter
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon
  • dry vermouth
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


Soften shallots in 55g/2oz of butter in a large ovenproof dish and add parsley and tarragon. Place fish fillets on top of shallots and herbs and season with salt and pepper. Pour in sufficient vermouth to come level with the fish. Dot fish with 55g/2oz butter. Cook in preheated hot oven at 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 for 20-30 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.

Remove the fish to hot serving dish, pour juices into a saucepan and reduce rapidly to half. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in remaining butter, taste for seasoning, add a squeeze of lemon juice and pour the sauce over fish.