John Dory as Cooked by the Suquet Fishermen

Saint-Pierre des pêcheurs du Suquet

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Cuisine of the Sun

By Roger Vergé

Published 1979

  • About

Moderately expensive


  • 1 John Dory weighing 1 kg ( lb), filleted but not skinned
  • 1 large onion weighing 180 g ( oz)
  • 2 large waxy potatoes weighing 400 g (14 oz)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, weighing 80 g (3 oz) apiece
  • 40 g ( oz) butter
  • 1 stock cube
  • salt, pepper

Reommended wines

  • fresh young wines. Provençal red, white or rosé


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Mark 6. Peel the onion and slice it into fine rounds. Melt 15 g (½ oz) of butter in a frying-pan and soften the onions in it over a slow heat until they begin to turn golden.
  2. Bring 6 tablespoons of water to the boil in a small saucepan and dissolve the stock cube, together with the pinch of saffron. Set aside.
  3. Peel the potatoes and wipe them (do not wash them). Slice them into paper-thin slices (3–4 mm thick), spread them out on a cloth or kitchen paper, and season with salt and pepper. Crush the cloves of garlic without peeling them. Slice the tomatoes without peeling them.
  4. Butter the inside of a gratin dish 20–25 cm (8–10 inches) long and arrange a single layer of potato slices in it, followed by the onion cooked in butter (1). Lay the John Dory fillets, seasoned with salt and pepper on both sides, on top, and the tomato slices on top of that. Put a crushed clove of garlic at each end of the dish, and lay the thyme and bayleaf on the tomatoes. Cover the whole dish with the remaining potato slices. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and dot them over the top, pour over the saffron-flavoured stock (2), and bake uncovered in the oven for 1 hour. Serve in the gratin dish. The liquid will have evaporated and the dish will be covered with a beautiful golden crust.