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Baked John Dory with Lemon Caper Dressing

This baked John Dory recipe is really simple, it’s one of the most popular ways of cooking fish in the Mediterranean.

Baked John Dory with Lemon Caper Dressing (1)

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…

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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 (1)
Baked John Dory with Lemon Caper Dressing (1)
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4 from 47 votes

Baked John Dory with Lemon Caper Dressing

I was smitten by the simple way of preparing fish in Italy and France. Baked whole or as fillets then dressed simply in own juices with olive oil, lemon juice and capers. Perfection.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 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

To serve:

  • 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.
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Kate @ foodies agenda August 12, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Looks like you guys had an incredible time. Lots of beautiful memories :)

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook August 13, 2015 at 11:36 am

Thanks Kate, it was a great time to unwind before a busy few months ahead.

Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon August 14, 2015 at 3:26 pm

I have been admiring all of your holiday photos on Instagram. It looks like you had a wonderful time!

This dish looks so simple and beautiful! I love the plates!

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook August 14, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Thanks Stephanie :-) we had an amazing time away, it was good to explore and relax.

Cyndie August 16, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Glad to hear you had a great time Martyna. Mediterranean cuisine is fabulous, I agree. Did you find that France didn’t have as many options for gluten-free etc.?

Justin September 7, 2015 at 7:45 am

Awesome, I love fish and trying to get my GF to eat more going to try this :)

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Phil January 22, 2022 at 12:18 pm

The commentary says baked in butter – but in recipe is olive oil! Can you use a mixture of both


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