Sautéed John Dory with Stuffed Courgette Flowers

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

This makes a really pretty dish full of the colours of summer; the red of the tomato sauce against the yellow of the flowers makes a wonderful picture.


  • 2 X 900 g/2 lb John Dory
  • 4 finger-sized courgettes with their flowers
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 150 ml/¼ pint double cream
  • 25 ml/1 fl oz dry sherry
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • A little oil for frying
  • 125 g/ oz butter
  • 450 ml/¾ pint tomato sauce


    Carefully wash the courgettes and flowers. Very gently remove all the flowers from the courgettes.

    Fillet the John Dory. Skin each fillet and break them into their 3 natural pieces each side. Cut each of the long pieces, 4 to each fish, in half at an acute angle, and put to one side. The 4 small pieces are to be used for the mousse.

    Cut the small fillets into small pieces and place in a blender or food processor along with the salt and process until a smooth paste. Add the egg white and mix in thoroughly until it stiffens. Remove from the blender and rub through a sieve. Place in a bowl set on crushed ice and gradually add two-thirds of the cream, followed by the sherry and seasoning. Test the mousse. If the mousse is a little firm, add more cream; the mousse needs to be really soft for this recipe.

    Place the mousse in a piping bag with a fairly fine nozzle. Carefully fill each flower about half full with the mixture. Fold the ends of the petals over to form a seal. Place each flower, folded end down, in a steaming basket along with the courgettes and steam for 4 minutes.

    While these are cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan and, when the oil is hot, add 15 g/½ oz of the butter. Season the fillets and carefully lay them in the pan. Fry on one side for about 30 seconds, then turn and fry on the other side for a further 30 seconds. Remove the fillets from the pan and drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil. Keep in a warm place. Bring the tomato sauce to the boil, remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the remaining butter until it has all melted.