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Melbourne chef Mirco Speri shares this recipe for John Dory fillets, which is heavily influenced by the Sicilian use of swordfish and blood orange salads.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (8 votes)


  • 6 John Dory fillets, skin on (200 g per portion)

Red pesto

  • 200 ml olive oil (for sautéing)
  • 100 g cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 roasted red capsicums, peeled, deseeded, roughly chopped

Fennel salad

  • 2 fennels, finely shaved
  • 4 blood oranges, peeled, zested
  • fresh chopped capers
  • fresh dill, washed
  • fresh mint, washed
  • olive oil


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the red pesto, heat the oil in a frypan over low-medium heat. Add the cherry tomatoes, garlic and bay leaf, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the capsicum and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and blend the mixture until a smooth pesto forms.

In a bowl, combine the fennel, blood orange zest, capers, dill and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frypan over high heat. Cook the fish, skin-side down, for 2 minutes each side or until cooked through.

Squeeze lemon juice over the fish. Transfer to a plate. Serve with the fennel salad and red pesto. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.