Red Mullet with Almond Courgette Pesto

A colourful dinner party dish with dramatic black olive-infused oil from Jun Tanaka
By Jun Tanaka
Red Mullet with Almond Courgette Pesto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 24 hrs drying time
  • Effort: medium


For the courgette pesto

  • 4 courgettes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 5 basil
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine kernels
  • 50 ml olive oil

For the black olive oil

  • 1 kg black olives, dried for 24 hours in a low oven
  • 100 ml olive oil

For the courgette salad

  • 3 courgettes
  • 1/2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 50 ml olive oil

For the mullet

  • 4 fillets red mullet
  • sprigs rosemary
  • 100 g flaked almonds
  • 1 punnet shiso cress, to serve


1. For the courgette pesto: heat a little olive oil in a frying and cook the courgette for 2 minutes. Take off the heat, add the garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil and basil. Using a blender, combine to a smooth paste. Season and add more oil if the paste is too dry.

2. For the black olive oil: blend the olives with the oil and pass through a sieve.

3. For the courgette salad: slice the courgettes on a mandolin and put in a bowl with the garlic, chilli, lemon juice, seasoning and oil. Season and mix well.

4. For the mullet: chop the rosemary and add to the almonds. Press the red mullet skin side down onto the almonds. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and cook the mullet, still skin side down for 2 minutes. Flip over and cook for a further 2 minutes.

5. To serve, spoon the pesto onto a plate, arrange the courgette salad to one side and put the red mullet on top. Finish with shiso cress and black olive oil.

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