Red Mullet in Filo with Pesto

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

  • About

Red mullet is not difficult to fillet, but you have to ensure that all the bones have been removed. Ask your fishmonger to fillet the fish, but still check carefully for any bones that may have been left behind and pull them out with tweezers.

This is a very pretty dish when the crisp brown filo crust is cut open to reveal the moist fillet of red mullet on a bed of potato and pesto. The potatoes are not new potatoes, but small mature potatoes like Belle de Fontenay. The packets can be prepared several hours in advance and kept refrigerated until needed.


  • 4 small potatoes (see introduction)
  • 12 sheets of filo pastry
  • 5 tbsp Pesto
  • 4 fillets of red mullet, carefully boned
  • 30 g/1 oz butter
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil, for greasing



Cook the potatoes in their skins in a pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes or until just cooked.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas6.

Peel a potato and slice crosswise into 4. Brush 3 sheets of filo with olive oil and arrange overlapping but at angles to one another. Lay the potato slices in a row across the centre and put a teaspoon of pesto on top of each slice. Put a red mullet fillet on top, skin side up, season with salt and pepper and fold the pastry over, wrapping loosely as if making a parcel.

Put on an oiled baking tray. Make 3 more parcels in the same way, transferring them to the tray when done. Melt the butter and brush them all over with it.


Bake for 20 minutes until the filo is puffed up and golden

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