This baked John Dory recipe is really simple, it’s one of the most popular ways of cooking fish in the Mediterranean.
Inspiration for the John Dory recipe
The beauty of taking a European holiday in August is the abundance of fresh produce. It sits right in that sweet spot of Indian summer, the changing of seasons. Ripe stone fruit, currants with their tart twang I remember fondly from my childhood days. Plump tomatoes lining every grocer’s stall and, of course, just coming into season wild-foraged mushrooms: girolles, chanterelles and ceps, especially popular in France.
The Mediterranean style of eating suited me well. Sea bass and John Dory prepared in various ways as well as ripe ox heart tomato salads became my daily nourishment of choice. First-pressing olive oil flowed freely. If you can’t find John Dory Brill is a good substitute in Europe.
So here is how to cook john dory…
How to cook John Dory
The best way to cook john dory fillets is to roast them or to pan-fry them. The fish fillets are quite thin and delicate so they cook quickly. Serve with simple condiments of lemon or caper butter, and a stonefruit and fennel salad.
Baked John Dory
In this recipe, John Dory fillets are baked in olive oil, with lemon and capers. It’s that simple. The mixture of melted butter makes for a delicious dressing for the fish. It also helps keep it moist.
If you are using thicker or larger fillets, allow for extra cooking time. Prod the fish with a fork and it should flake easily.
Baked John Dory with Lemon Caper Dressing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus 2-3 extra to serve
- 2 180g John Dory fillets with skin on
- 2 teaspoons capers in brine
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- freshly ground black pepper
- handful per serve watercress or other salad greens
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
- Grease an oven-proof dish or skillet with olive oil and place fish, skin side down, in the dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes (you will need to a little longer for thicker fillets). Test your fish by pushing a skewer into the flesh – if there is resistance, it will need to cook a little longer. If the skewer pushes in and comes out easily it means the fish is flaky and ready.
- Remove from oven and transfer to serving plates. Add extra olive oil, lemon juice and capers to the pan and mix well. Drizzle over the fish and season with pepper.
- Serve with a mixed green salad or watercress.