Sole, Zucchini, and Tomato Napoleon with Tomato-Caper Crudo

Trim your food budget and still eat well. Try this delicious recipe from celebrity chef Melissa d'Arabian's Ten Dollar Dinners.

Sole, Zucchini, and Tomato Napoleon with Tomato-Caper Crudo. Photo by Ben Fink. © 2012.

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Today’s savvy consumers are looking for creative ways to trim the food budget, without sacrificing great taste or eating well. And Melissa d’Arabian, host of Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinners (also the title of her new book), believes no one has to.

Here, Melissa creates a beautiful tower of sole, zucchini, and tomatoes by joining simple ingredients, then plating them with grace. As a complement to this dish, try her Rice with Fresh Herbs. And finish the feast with one of Melissa’s desserts such as Lemon-Ginger Pudding or the tried-and-true Buttery Shortbread.

Sole, Zucchini, and Tomato Napoleon with Tomato-Caper Crudo
(Makes 4 servings)

Sole, Zucchini, and Tomato Napoleon with Tomato-Caper Crudo. Photo by Ben Fink. © 2012.


  • for Napoleon

  • 1 large zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 4- to 6-ounce sole fillets, halved crosswise (yields 4 2-inch-wide pieces)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • Good-quality olive oil
  • for Crudo

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, cored
  • 1 small or ½ large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Napoleon: Place thinly sliced zucchini rounds in colander. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt and toss to evenly coat, then place in sink to drain while you prepare crudo and broil fish.
  2. Crudo: Slice cored tomatoes into ⅛-inch-thick rounds. Set 4 best slices aside for napoleon and chop remaining slices into small cubes. Place chopped tomatoes in medium bowl and add shallot, capers, balsamic vinegar, plus salt, if desired. Stir and set aside.
  3. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat broiler to high. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place sole fillets on top. Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper and broil until fillets spring back to light pressure, 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Place 1 tomato slice on each plate and sprinkle with a little of remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Arrange zucchini slices in overlapping circle on top of tomatoes. Set piece of sole on top of each tomato-zucchini stack. Use slotted spoon to top each serving with tomato-caper crudo. Sprinkle with basil, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 115
Total fat: 2.3 g
Saturated fat: 0.8g
Sodium: 722mg
Carbohydrate: 7.5g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 16g

Recipe and photo reprinted from the book Ten Dollar Dinners by Melissa d’Arabian. Photograph by Ben Fink. © 2012. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

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