John Dory with a vegetable galette

Michael Caines serves fried John Dory with a galette of aubergine, tomato and courgette (vegetables layered into a fan shape) and a tomato coulis
By Michael Caines
John Dory with a vegetable galette
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the tomato coulis

  • 6 tomatoes
  • 25 g butter
  • handfuls basil, chopped
  • handfuls lemon thyme, leaves only, chopped

For the fish

  • 2 large john dory, about 1.8kg in total
  • small handful thyme, leaves, chopped
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice, to taste

For the galette of aubergine, tomato and courgette

  • 4 Italian plum tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 large aubergine
  • small handful lemon thyme, leaves only, chopped


1. For the tomato coulis: blend the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and then pass through a sieve into a pan.

2. Heat the tomato sauce briefly until reduced and thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, basil, lemon thyme and salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the coulis warm.

3. For the fish: remove the head from the fish and cut off (and discard) the tail. Lay the fish flat on a clean work surface. Around the edge of the fish there is a bony ridge, cut around this ridge just inside the edge, but be careful not to cut into the flesh of the fish.

4. Repeat on the other side of the fish, and, using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut around the fish. You should get 2 portions from each fish. Slice the fish in two with a large cooks knife. Remove the skin and cut out any untidy bones with the scissors.
Season the fish with salt, pepper and chopped lemon thyme.

5. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a non-stick pan until almost smoking. Add the fish, skin-side down and cook for about 4 minutes, then turn over and continue cooking for about 2 minutes more. Remove from the oven and squeeze a little lemon juice over the fish. Keep warm.

6. For the galette of aubergine, tomato and courgette: preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Plunge the tomatoes into a pan of boiling salted water for 10 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon and refresh in a bowl of iced water. Peel off the tomato skins and then slice the tomatoes 5mm thick across.

7. Place the tomatoes onto a roasting tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and a little chopped thyme. Place into the preheated oven to roast for 3 minutes, remove and leave to cool.

8. Cut the aubergines in half, then slice into 5mm thick pieces - you will need 12 slices in total. Slice the courgettes on the diagonal to about the same length and thickness as the aubergines.

9. Fry the aubergines in a frying pan in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until coloured on both sides. Remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

10. Fry the courgettes in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, drain on kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper.

11. To serve, arrange a galette of vegetables on each serving plate: each galette consists of three layers of each vegetable, starting with the aubergine, then tomato and then courgette, fanned out in a circle shape. Sprinkle more chopped lemon thyme over and serve with the fish laid on top and drizzled with coulis.

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