California Central Coast Recipes

Sand Dab Florentine

Sand Dab Florentine is made with one of the Central California Coast's local fish: Sand Dabs. The Florentine Style, which incorporates the use of spinach is typical of the classic Italian recipe from Florence called Sole Florentine. This recipe is a little more involved but oh! is it worth it!

Sand dabs poached in white wine are nestled on a bed of lightly-cooked spinach and covered with a light Basamella Sauce (one of the basic Italian fundamental sauces, that you should know if you've been reading our website.)--And then topped off with a little Parmesan Cheese and baked

The three components -the sand-dabs, spinach and the Basamella sauce combine to an exquisite flavor combination for the mouth that's so smooth-so delicate and so delicious, you'll want to make this whenever you spot good quality sole fillets! ©2018, Sand Dab Florentine
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


20 ounces Frozen Spinach
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter , plus extra for coating pan
1-1/2 pounds Sand Dab fillets or similar sole (8 fillets)
1-1/2 cups Dry white wine
Ground nutmeg
Several grinds black pepper
Salt to taste
3 cups warm Basamella Sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese , grated
1/4 Dry Plain breadcrumbs

Preparation Directions.

1 Preheat the oven at 400 degrees.

2 Defrost the spinach and drain well. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and saute for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and add a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside for later.

3 Melt the remaining butter in a deep frying pan over low heat. Add the wine and bring just to the boiling point. Add the fillets and poach the fillets quickly (about 30 seconds to 1 minute - they should remain firm). Remove the fillets from the pan, turn up the heat and reduce the wine to 1/4 cup. Add the reduced wine to the warm Basamella sauce.

4 Grease a 9x11 inch baking pan with butter. First layer the cooked spinach on the bottom, then the poached sand dabs on top of that. Cover all with the Basamella sauce. Finish by sprinkling the Parmesan Cheese and Breadcrumbs on top.

5 Place the pan in the 400F oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven when done and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Serve with an Italian style white wine such as Arneis.

A tip from Sue!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds when you get through with a brick of Parmesan cheese! They can be used to flavor soups deliciously. Store them in the freezer in a plastic bag, and use as needed.

The Parmesan rinds give unbelievable flavor and soul to soups and will turn a bowl of soup into an "entree" worthy of any guest. I generally use about two ounces of Parmesan cheese rinds to a stockpot of soup. Add them in after you've added the liquid and let them cook along with the rest of your soup's ingredients. You won't be sorry!

read more:
Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese Rind