Sole and chive oil

Fresh chives

In early spring, chives are one of the first fresh greens you may have growing in your garden. Chives are easy enough even for me to grow: plant them once, and they just come back every spring, and they spread too so there are more every year. You’ll need a couple of good handfuls of chives for this recipe.

How to make Sole with Chive Oil:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Boil a large saucepan full of water over high heat. Chop half a head of cauliflower into small pieces. When the water boils, put in the chopped cauliflower and reduce the heat to medium-high; let the cauliflower simmer until it gets soft, about ten minutes.

While the cauliflower is cooking, make the chive oil. Take two bunches of chives and cut them into quarter-inch bits. Put all the chive bits in a small bowl with 1/2 cup of olive oil and a large pinch of kosher salt and mash with the immersion blender until the olive oil is quite green. Dump the mash into a strainer held over another small bowl or cream pitcher to catch the chive oil. Push the chive mash around with a fork and press on it to get all the chive oil you can, then compost the remaining chive stalks. If there’s not enough oil for your needs, add more olive oil, but it will dilute the chive taste.

When the cauliflower is pretty much done, pour a spoonful of olive oil into a roasting pan and lay out the sole on top of the oil. Put the sole in the oven to bake while you pour off the water from the cauliflower. Add 1/4 cup of whole fat Greek yogurt to the cauliflower, and puree with the immersion blender.

The sole won’t take more than 3-5 minutes to cook. When it is more opaque than translucent, take it out of the oven and serve with the pureed cauliflower. Pour chive oil over the cauliflower and the sole; you’ll want cole slaw or grated carrots or a green salad on the side.

Vegan or vegetarian?

No, this is fish. But you can serve chive oil over cauliflower without the fish, too. That’s vegan.

Will chive oil keep?

Not really. All of this – the fish, the cauliflower, and the chive oil – is best eaten fresh.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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