Les Sables d’Olonne is a little seaside town south of Nantes and north of La Rochelle, home to France’s fourth-largest fishing port. Here, fishermen specialize in trawling fish like hake, sole, and tuna. Meager is another fish that is abundant in Les Sables d’Olonne.
Delicate in flavor, but firm in texture, meager makes a practical canvas for playing with flavors and textures. In this recipe, enjoy the diversity of textures—the crunch of fried onions, the tenderness of cooked eggplant, and the smoothness of the white beans.
Preparing this dish with meager from Les Sables d’Olonne gives it a local touch and special flavor, though any meager filets will do.
Meager with Eggplant, White Beans, and Fried Onions
Yields: 4 servings
- 2 meager filets (from Les Sables d’Olonne, if possible)
- 1 Eggplant
- 60 ml olive oil
- 1 knob of butter
- 400 g cooked white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini)
- 1 shallot
- Fried onions
- ½ cup tomato sauce (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Roughly dice the eggplant, then, in a bowl, toss with olive oil and salt, making sure that each cube is well-oiled. Arrange on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes.
While the eggplant is cooking, heat the white beans in a sauté pan with olive oil. Once the eggplant is cooked, transfer to the pan with the beans and sprinkle with fried onions to taste. If you like, you may also add tomato sauce.
In a separate pan, melt butter and olive oil over high heat. Use a paper towel to delicately dry the meager filets before adding them to the pan and cooking about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until a golden-brown crust develops.
In a shallow dish, serve the meager filets over a layer of the stewed eggplant and beans. Sprinkle with fried onions and eat immediately.