Grilled John Dory with Braised Fennel & Anchovy Vinaigrette

A delicious recipe from Mitch Tonks' cookbook FISH, published by Pavilion (image by Chris Terry)

Serves 4

  • 150 ml /¼ pt olive oil
  • 150 ml/ ¼ pt white wine vinegar
  • 150 ml/ ¼ pt white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 sliced lemon
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 3 Florence fennel bulbs
  • 4 John Dory fillets – they will vary in size but allow about 180g / 6 oz per person (filleted into 3 small fillets and trimmed)
  • Salt
  • For the anchovy vinaigrette: 6 salted anchovy fillets; 1 tsp Dijon mustard; 3 tbsp white wine vinegar; 100 ml double cream; 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped; Squeeze of lemon; Black pepper




  1. Pre heat the oven to 175C .
  2. First braise the fennel by gently heating the olive oil, wine vinegar, wine, bay leaf, fennel seeds and coriander seeds in a pan. Then add the sliced lemon, onion, sliced garlic and fennel. Cover and cook in the oven for about an hour until the fennel is tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature in the braising liquid.
  3. Make the anchovy vinaigrette by pounding the anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar. Then put the mustard in a bowl with the vinegar and whisk together slowly adding the olive oil until those 3 ingredients emulsify. Then add the anchovy paste and gently whisk in the cream. Add the parsley, a squeeze of lemon and plenty of black pepper.
  4. Heat the grill then brush the John Dory fillets with a little olive oil and season with salt. Grill for 6-7 minutes until lightly golden.
  5. To serve put 2 or 3 chunks of braised fennel and onion mixture on a plate, place the fish alongside and drizzle with the anchovy vinaigrette.

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