John Dory in the Sun Recipe

Pan-seared fish with Mediterranean vegetables and fresh tomato-basil sauce, this colourful dish tastes of the sun and sea.

“John Dory”, “St Peter”, or Poule (hen) or Soleil (sun) in French, the golden colour of this marine fish has earned it as many names as it has compliments for its delicate, delicious flesh. In this original recipe, we complement the John Dory with summertime vegetables, rocket emulsion and a tomato-basil sauce vierge.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Tomato-basil vierge sauce

  • 1 black Krim tomato
  • 1 green zebra tomato
  • 1 beef tomato
  • 1 small shallot
  • 3 bunches basil
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil


Rocket emulsion

  • 100g rocket (arugula)
  • 100ml double cream
  • 10g finely grated parmesan
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon, non-treated
  • 1 egg white


Summer vegetables

  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1 bell pepper, green
  • 1 bell pepper, red or yellow
  • olive oil


The fish

  • 4 John Dory fillets, about 160g each
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter

Recipe for John Dory with summertime vegetables, rocket emulsion and tomato-basil sauce vierge

Tomato-basil vierge sauce
- Deseed and finely dice the tomatoes. Place in a bowl.
- Mince the shallot and add to the bowl.
- Finely snip the basil (leaves only) and add to the bowl.
- Add the lime zest and juice to the bowl.
- Finally, mix in the olive oil, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper (one turn). Chill the vierge sauce or leave it at room temperature.

Rocket emulsion
- Quickly blanch the rocket and then put it in an ice bath.
- As the leaves are cooling, mix together the cream, parmesan and garlic clove in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Add the lemon zest and juice.
- Drain the rocket and place it in a blender with the hot cream mixture. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly.
- Add the egg white to the creamed rocket and blend until the sauce emulsifies.

Summer vegetables
- Slice the aubergine into rounds. Over medium-high heat, sauté the slices in olive oil until both sides are golden brown. Remove onto a plate and season with salt and pepper.
- Slice the peppers into 2cm cubes and sauté as with the aubergine slices.

John Dory fillets
- Season the fillets with fine salt.
- In a hot pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and sear the fillets skin-side down for a few minutes.
- When the flesh begins to turn opaque, add the butter. Spoon the melted butter over the fillets to finish cooking. The flesh should be slightly firm to the touch.

To serve
- Drizzle some rocket emulsion on each plate.
- Divide the vegetables among 4 plates and top each mound with a fillet.
- Place generous spoonfuls of the tomato-basil sauce vierge on top of the fish.
- Garnish your creation with a few edible flowers and/or basil leaves.
- Serve and enjoy this dish in the sun!

Chef’s tip

Buy whole fish if possible. To determine whether the fish is fresh, make sure that its skin is shiny and taut, and its eyes are bright and not sunken in. It should smell of the sea and not ammonia.

After cleaning and filleting the John Dory, season it lightly so as to not mask the delicate flavour of its flesh.

Do not trim away its gelatinous edges, as they give off an excellent aroma when cooked.

Finally, as John Dory is delicate, it is best to cook it with the skin on.

Chef Johan Thierry

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(*) Average meal price calculated on the basis of starter and main course or main course and dessert, excluding drinks, menu and promotional offers. The average price is an estimate only, calculated according to the prices provided by the restaurant. Depending on the country, the average price may or may not include all taxes.