When floundering (pun intended) about for a dinner recipe recently, I flipped briskly past Flounder Florentine, thinking it would be far too complex for me – requiring numerous steps and ingredients. Two things brought me back to it: first, I have been trying to incorporate fish often when we eat at home because it is a lean, healthy protein. Nick and I have both been traveling pretty extensively and it’s opened my eyes to how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy diet on the road. Even “healthy” dishes are typically made with larger quantities of salt, butter, and/or other ingredients than I would be using at home. Second, flounder is Nick’s favorite fish (and I do try to accommodate his preferences when possible). On my second, longer look, I was pleasantly surprised by the brevity of the ingredient list, and I decided to take it on. I made brown rice, seasoned with fresh lemon juice and zest, as a side.
This recipe comes from the Maine Summers Cookbook, and the original recipe serves 6 – I made only enough for two people, and my division wasn’t precise. It still turned out well!
- 2 lbs chopped fresh spinach (or two 10-oz packages frozen spinach) cooked and drained
- 6 flounder fillets
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used almond milk)
- Grated parmesan cheese (as you can see, this healthy fish dish isn’t really that healthy…)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the cooked spinach on the bottom of a large, broiler-proof baking dish. Arrange the fillets on top.
Melt the butter in the top of a double broiler. Add the flour and stir to blend. Slowly add the milk, stirring to a thin white sauce consistency. Add enough parmesan for a medium-thick consistency, stirring until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the fish. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3-5 minutes to brown lightly.
I served the flounder florentine with a Chardonnay by Acronym. Flounder is a very light fish, and served this way, I think a Pinot Grigio may have been a better match – but I love Chardonnay so it made me a happy girl!
This dish was very good, and it was also fairly quick to prepare – a must on week nights. I do think that I might add a splash of white wine to the sauce next time – while it was tasty, it was missing a little something (for me, anyway).