Red Mullet with tomatoes and olives

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Floyd Around the Med

Floyd Around the Med

By Keith Floyd

Published 2000

  • About

Red mullet is not compulsory. Grey mullet will do, as will John Dory, bass or bream.


  • 6 sticks of dried fennel
  • 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 lemons, sliced into very thin rounds
  • 4 plump red mullet, gutted, scaled and fins removed
  • 2 cups chicken stock or dry white wine
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • about 20 black olives, stoned
  • about 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • sea salt and black pepper


First lay the fennel sticks in a baking tray. Spread the tomatoes and half the lemon slices over them. Then place the red mullet on top and pour over the chicken stock or wine. Cover the fish with the remaining lemon slices. Shake in a few drops of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake in an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 for 10-15 minutes, until the fish is just cooked, not overcooked.

Transfer the fish to a serving dish and keep warm. Strain the liquid from the baking tray into a saucepan, bring to the boil and boil until reduced by about two thirds. Over a low heat, whisk in several knobs of butter until you have a smooth sauce. Then whisk in a drop of olive oil, which will not combine with the butter sauce but will form little glistening droplets on the surface. Add the stoned black olives to warm them through. Meanwhile, quickly fillet the fish. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle on the chopped basil.