Q: What do ladybugs and sole fish have in common?
Scroll down past the recipe for the answer.
The most popular choices for Shabbat fish dishes I hear about are salmon, gefilte fish, and sushi. Swimming against the tide, I have been trying out different budget-friendly sole recipes. Like most flat white fish, sole doesn’t have a strong flavor of its own. That makes it the perfect base for fun herbs and seasonings. This lemon-veggie baked sole is infused with flavor from the lemons and scallions, but it is still light. It is not covered in sauce, so it can be heated on Shabbat. It’s perfect for a summer seudah shlishit or weeknight supper. In the hot summer, I sometimes serve cold salads for lunch and heat fish, like this sole, for seudah shlishit in the late afternoon.
It is also very quick and easy to make!
Baked Lemon-Veggie Sole Recipe
serves 4-5 as main dish, 8-10 as appetizer
8-10 sole fillets
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small lemon, sliced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
salt and pepper
- If using frozen fish, make sure it is fully defrosted and extra water is squeezed out.
- Heat over to 220 degrees Celsius/425 degrees Farenheit.
- Spread fish in a single layer in a shallow pan. The fillets can overlap a little, but don’t stack them.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fish. Add the chopped peppers and scallions so the fish is evenly covered. Place a lemon slice on each fish fillet.
- Cover with foil. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Pour off liquid if this is an issue for heating it on Shabbat. Serve warm. Enjoy!
So what do ladybugs have to do with sole?
A: They are both named after Moses.
The seven-spotted ladybug is commonly known as פרת משה רבנו (Parat Moshe Rabeinu, i.e. Moses’ cow) in Hebrew. The ladybug traditionally received nicknames in a number of European languages relating to various divine deities, likely because of its power to get rid of mites and aphids. The Hebrew is a translation of the Yiddish variant, relating the little red bug to Moshe. Why a cow? I haven’t seen an answer to that yet. If you know one, comment below!
I just learned today that sole is nicknamed in Hebrew דג משה רבינו (dahg Moshe Rabeinu, i.e. Moses fish). According to the folk tale, Moshe stepped on the fish while crossing the Red Sea, which is why it is so flat.