John Dory with caramelised chicory

Dylan McGrath, head chef at Mint in Dublin, makes a seasonal fish dish bursting with the exotic flavours of chicory, blood orange, coriander seeds and poached black grapes
John Dory with caramelised chicory
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the caramelised chicory:

  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 2 heads baby chicory

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • 10 black grapes, peeled
  • 200 ml fresh blood orange juice
  • 1 blood orange, segmented
  • small bunch dill, leaves picked
  • few sprigs tarragon, chopped

For the fish:

  • 4 john dory fillets, 200g each, skin removed
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter

To serve:

  • olive oil, for drizzling


1. For the caramelised chicory: smear a heavy frying pan with the butter to give a thick coating. Add the caster sugar and swirl to coat.

2. Put the chicory in the pan and slowly caramelise over a low heat until browned, then turn over and colour the other side. When cooked through, allow to cool on a wire rack.

3. For the sauce: put the sugar, water and coriander seeds in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the peeled grapes, bring to the boil again, then set aside to poach while they cool.

4. In a separate saucepan, reduce the blood orange juice until its consistency thickens, add the poached grapes, orange segments and chicory halves, and warm gently with the herbs.

5. For the fish: heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the John Dory fillets and season. Fry for 1-2 minutes then turn over and cook for a further minute.

6. Once the fish is golden, add the butter to the pan and allow it to melt.

7. Arrange the chicory, orange and grapes on the plate and reheat the sauce if necessary. Add a little more juice to refresh the flavour and a few drops of olive oil.

8. Place the fish on the plate, spoon over the sauce and garnish with a little coriander cress.

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