The Pacific sand dab has a delicate, sweet flavor that’s brought out with a simple pan-fry in this recipe, anchored by earthy, rich morel mushrooms. If whole sand dabs aren't available, you can substitute sole or flounder fillets.
Sand Dabs with Warm Garlic, Parsley, and Red Wine Vinegar Dressing
- 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour, for dusting
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 lb. whole sand dabs, cleaned and gutted, or sole or flounder fillets
- About 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 garlic scapes, small heads green garlic, or small scallions, trimmed to about 4 inches
- 20 medium morel mushrooms
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 6 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Put the flour on a large plate and season with salt and pepper. Pat the fish dry and dredge lightly in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
- Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch, heavy-duty, skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Cook the fish in batches without crowding until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes a side for whole fish, or 2 to 3 minutes a side for fillets, and transfer to paper towels to drain. Wipe the pan clean and add more oil between batches as needed.
- Heat 3/4 cup of the oil, the garlic scapes, green garlic or scallions, and morels in a saucepan over medium heat until the green garlic is just starting to color, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the morels to a small bowl. Add the red wine vinegar and cook 1 minute. Return the morels to the pan, remove from the heat, and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the fish on a serving platter, and spoon over the skillet dressing. Serve with the lemon wedges.