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Patina Solearum
(Patina of Soles in Herb Sauce)

by Apicius IV, II, 155

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The Roman Cookery of Apicius
AFAIK, this recipe comes from Edwards and was inserted by original site author (I will say again to PLEASE buy these author's books! By doing so, you will help support them — even for books that are older and might not sell as well anymore... These authors do not do this for money, they do it for love. Please support them!

This authentic Roman dish of sole, or other fish fillets, poached in wine and herbs, is simple to prepare. The sauce has the fresh taste of vinaigrette, a subtle complement to the delicate flavor.

Original recipe: Soleas battues et curatas compones in patina. Adicies oleum, liquamen, uinum. Dum coquitur, teres piper, ligusticum, origanum, fricabis, suffundes ius, oua cruda et unum corpus facies. Super soleas refundes, lento igni coques. Cum duxerit, piper aspargis et inferes.

Translation: A dish of sole is thus made: beat the sole prepare and place them in a shallow sauce pan, add oil, broth and wine, and poach them thus; now crush pepper, lovage, origano and add of the fish juice; then bind the sauce with raw eggs yolks to make a good creamy sauce of it; strain this over the sole, heat all on a slow fire to fill it with live heat sprinkle with pepper and serve.


  • 1 lb. fresh filets of sole
  • 2 T. Olive oil (or butter)
  • ¼ cup Liquamen
  • ¼ cup White wine

For the sauce:

  • dash of ground Pepper
  • ½ t. coriander seed
  • ¼ t. Origano
  • rue
  • cumin
  • 1 c. Liquamen
  • 2 raw egg yolks


  • Beat and clean the soles and place in a shallow pan.
  • Add oil, liquamen and wine.
  • While the fish is cooking pound pepper, lovage, origano; grind well.
  • Pour on some of the garum, add raw eggs, and work into a smooth mixture.
  • Pour over the soles and cook over a low fire.
  • When the mixture has set sprinkle with pepper and serve.

For the suace

  • Pound pepper, cumin, coriander seed, origano, rue; pound well, moisten with vinegar.
  • Add Jericho dates, honey, defrutum, oil, liquamen, mix well.
  • Pour into a pot, bring to a boil. When it boils, pour over fish.
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