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Flounder with olives and lemon

Photo: Marco Del Grande

To cook flounder whole, it has to be gutted and skinned. The first is easy to do - just ask your fishmonger to do it for you. Skinning is only marginally more difficult than gutting. Lay the flounder on a board. With a sharp knife, make an incision across the point just before the flesh ends and the tail starts. Using the knife, prise a little of the skin away from the flesh at the incision point, just enough so you can get a grip with your fingers. Put a little salt on your fingertips and, holding the tail with one hand, peel away the skin with the other towards the head. Repeat the process on the other side.


  • 2 whole flounder, gutted and skinned, heads removed
  • 50g plain flour
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 20 good-quality small black olives, pitted
  • 1 small lemon, well washed and cut into 6-8 slices
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


Dredge flounder in flour so both sides are well dusted. Tap off excess. Heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frypan, on a medium heat, and add flounder. (Do them one at a time if your pan is not large enough. If so, set your oven to 100C to keep the cooked flounder warm as you fry the other.) The fish should take 90 seconds to 2 minutes a side to cook. Once done, place fish on warm plates. Tip oil out of the pan and heat remaining tablespoon in the same pan. Add garlic and fry gently until soft. Add half a cup of water as well as olives, lemon slices and parsley. Turn up heat and evaporate liquid until just a few tablespoons are left. Season sauce with salt and freshly cracked pepper, then spoon over flounder.

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