Salad of John Dory with Blackcurrant Vinaigrette


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

I can hardly ever wait for the arrival of the first blackcurrants of the season. They are a fruit of tremendous versatility, and I do tend to get a little carried away using them. They always appear on my menus in at least three forms at the same time. This is just one of them; a salad full of the colours of summer, and with it a fish that is always at its best during the summer months.


  • 2 X 550 g/ lb John Dory
  • A little butter
  • 120 ml/4 fl oz fish stock
  • 115 g/4 oz blackcurrants
  • 2 tbsp blackcurrant vinegar
  • ½ dessertsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut oil
  • 85 ml/3 fl oz salad oil
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz warm water
  • 1 small radicchio
  • 2 bunches corn salad
  • ¼ head curly endive
  • 1 small head red oak leaf lettuce
  • 1 small lettuce heart


    Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

    Fillet and skin the John Dory. Each fillet should then separate naturally into 3 pieces. Cut these into strips – you should be able to get 6 good strips out of each side. Butter a shallow tray, lay the strips of fish in, add the fish stock and cover with buttered paper or foil. Poach in the oven for about 5 minutes – be careful not to overcook or the fish will be very dry; it should remain quite moist. When cooked, remove the paper or foil and let the fish cool in the stock. When cold, drain the fillets and cover them with a damp cloth, but do not put them in the refrigerator.

    Put 25 g/1 oz of the blackcurrants to one side and purée the rest in a blender or food processor. Pass the purée through muslin or a fine sieve to remove any seeds and skin. Combine the purée, vinegar and the mustard in a bowl, mixing well. Gradually whisk in the oils and season the dressing with a little sugar and salt and freshly ground pepper if needed. If you feel that the dressing is a little too heavy, add the 50 ml/2 fl oz of warm water. Break up the lettuces, keeping the leaves whole where possible, and wash and drain well.