Pesce Ripiene con Spinaci e Noci (Stuffed Fish with Spinach and Nuts)

Serves 4

Simple flounder fillets are elevated to elegance in this easy spinach-and-cream-stuffed casserole.


1 pound fresh spinach, stemmed and rinsed

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 pound flounder fillets, at least 3½-inches wide and 6-inches long

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cook the spinach in a covered pot (do not add water) until wilted. Drain in a colander and squeeze out most of the water. Set aside.

2. Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the pot used to wilt the spinach and add the pine nuts. Toast them over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in the spinach, salt, celery salt and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Mix well. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool slightly.

3. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 9-inch-by-10-inch or 12-inch baking dish. Divide and spread the spinach filling on the flounder fillets. Roll each fillet up like a jellyroll and place in the baking dish. (You may use toothpicks to help keep the fish firmly rolled up. Remember to remove them before serving.) Salt and pepper the fillets, and bake for 10–12 minutes or just until the fish flakes easily with a fork. When the fish is cooked, remove the dish from the oven and tent it with foil to keep warm.

4. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small saucepan. Cook the minced garlic over medium heat until the garlic begins to soften; do not let it brown.

5. Lower the heat, slowly pour in the ¾ cup cream and cook the sauce covered for 3 minutes. Uncover and add salt to taste.

6. Serve the fish with some of the sauce poured over the top.

Tip: Garnish with sorrel; with spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes for color; or with a lemon, orange or lime slice.

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