Fillet of John Dory with Courgette Flower, Crab Mousse and Fennel Emulsion



  • 1 × 2.2kg Whole John Dory
  • 4 Baby courgettes with flowers attached
  • 60g Cooked and Picked crab meat
  • 120g Scallop mousse
  • 1 Head Baby fennel, blanched
  • 8 strips Red capsicum, 1cm × 4cm, blanched
  • 8 Baby leeks, blanched
  • 1 Vine ripened tomato, blanched, seeded and quartered
  • 4 White asparagus spears, peeled and blanched
  • 4 Green asparagus spears, peeled and blanched
  • 4 Baby artichokes, prepared and cooked
  • 4 Kipfler potatoes, cooked in the skin, cooled, peeled and sliced
  • 20ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Fresh lemon
  • 100ml Fennel emulsion
  • 16 Kalamata olives
  • 4 Slices lemon a la Grecque
  • 12 sprigs chervil
  • 12 Baby basil leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Fillet and skin the John Dory and trim the sides of each fillet. Each John Dory fillet has three sections to it. Cut the larger section away for the one portion and leave the other two sections intact for the second portion. Do the same with the second fillet so that four portions are obtained from one whole John Dory. Refrigerate the fish until ready to cook.

Fold the picked crab meat through the scallop mousse and spoon it into a piping bag with a 2cm nozzle attached. Carefully open the courgette flowers without breaking or snapping them from the courgette. Check that the insides of the flowers are clean before piping the scallop and crab mousse into them. Fill the flowers with the mousse and close over the tops of the flowers to enclose it. Carefully wrap the flowers in cling-film to protect the mousse from moisture during cooking. Refrigerate the wrapped flowers until ready to cook.

Place the fennel, red capsicum, baby leeks, tomato, green and white asparagus, artichokes and kipfler potatoes onto a sheet of lightly buttered greaseproof paper and lightly season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cook the stuffed courgette flowers in a steamer for 5 minutes. After 2 minutes add the vegetables and steam for 3 minutes. While the courgette flowers and vegetables steam, cook the John Dory.

In a heavy-based pan heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Lightly season the fish with salt and freshly ground pepper and cook for 3 minutes until golden brown. Carefully turn the fillet and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the fish from the pan and drain on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the fish.

Remove the courgette flowers and vegetables from the steamer. Remove the cling-film from the flowers and place on individual warm plates. Arrange the vegetables on the plates and spoon the fennel emulsion over and around them. Place the olives around the vegetables and set the John Dory onto the vegetables taking care not to cover the courgette flower. Top the John Dory with a slice of lemon a la Grecque and garnish with the chervil and basil.