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Cornish Recipes from The Alverton: Nick’s lemon sole recipe

At this year’s Truro Food Festival our Executive Chef, Nick Hodges, created a delicious lemon sole recipe of poached fillets, oyster and mussels nage, potato pearls and samphire. Discover the recipe here…

Ingredients for the lemon sole recipe

  • 250g mussels 
  • Two medium to large or four small lemon sole, filleted, skinned and rolled (ask your fishmonger to fillet, but keep the bones and skin for the stock) 
  • Eight oysters, open (keep the juice from the inside shell and pop your raw oysters in the fridge for later) 
  • Two shallots or one small onion finely diced
  • ½ small fresh fennel finely diced
  • One small carrot finely diced 
  • Small potato rounds or pearls (cut with a small melon baller) 
  • Zest of 1 small lemon 
  • Tiny pinch of saffron (don’t use too much – we want a gentle flavour, not an overpowering punch) 
  • Finely chopped fresh dill (set aside for plating)


Cook your mussels in 50ml of water and once all the shells are open, sieve, but keep the liquid. Scatter the mussels around a cold plate allowing them to cool. Set aside but don’t refrigerate. Remove the meat from half the mussels. 

The nage – a culinary term for an unthickened stock or sauce:

Roughly chop an onion, celery, carrot, leek, handful of parsley and dill stalks, then place in a saucepan. Add the fish bones, one pint of water, the mussels and oyster juices. Bring to simmer and keep simmering for 20 minutes. Do not rapidly boil. After the 20 minutes, strain your stock into a jug, then discard the bones and vegetables. 

Creating the dish

Your nage is complete. Gently place the sole fillets into the hot stock. They should be just about covered by liquid. Pop on a lid or cover with foil and simmer for 5-6 minutes (the fish is delicate so it won’t take long).

When you are happy the fish is cooked, add the mussels. Wait until the sauce comes back to temperature and then add the oysters. Put the lid back on and wait 1-2 minutes. 

Remove the cooked fish fillets from the nage. Evenly place the poached mussels, oysters, potato and vegetables in wide bowls – pasta bowls work well.

Ladle in plenty of stock (half the bowl height). Place the hot poached sole fillets in the stock, then sprinkle with chopped dill and a touch of sea salt. Have a bowl of ripped bread on the table ready and you’re done. 


The Festive Season

We are ready to kick-start your Christmas celebrations with our jolly festive lunches, party nights, Christmas breaks, and special feasts. Gather your friends and family and head to our historic hotel in the Cornish capital. Whether it’s an intimate table for two or a very merry gathering, get ready to embrace the yuletide season with us. Enjoy tasty tipples, Christmas crackers and cheery service at The Alverton throughout December.

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Food & Drink

A truly tranquil spot for laid-back luxury in the city. Expect food that is a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds, and top notch tipples served with a smile. Food is served daily from midday until 9pm.

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