Spiny warrior - John Dory, green tomato, greengage

Tom Aikens John Dory
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This John Dory recipe from Tom Aikens has layers of fresh flavours and textures: tart pickled green tomatoes, crunchy baby sweetcorn and creamy avocado purée. Although intricate as whole, each individual element is prepared simply so that their flavour shines through. This recipe will make more greengage and avocado purée than you will need.

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First published in 2023

Tom Aikens makes his green tomato and greengage sauce with a vegetable nage, a light court bouillon traditionally used for poaching fish and seafood. However, vegetable stock can be used instead. His vegetable nage is made by covering a mixture of finely diced vegetables – celery, leek, carrot, fennel etc. – with cold water. Bring the mixture to a simmer with a few slices of lemon. Once at a simmer, remove from the heat and add some fresh herbs. Let infuse for a day and then strain.




Greengage and yuzu purée

Pickled green tomato

Baby corn

Green tomato and greengage sauce

Avocado purée

Sea veg

  • sea vegetables, such as sea blite, sea purslane, rock samphire, salty fingers and sea arrowgrass

John Dory



  • Vacuum bag and machine
  • Piping bags
  • 7cm ring moulds



Place all the ingredients for the greengage and yuzu purée except the agar in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes


Add the agar and whisk continuously for 1 minute

  • 5.5g of agar agar

Place everything in a half gastro and allow to set completely


Once set, blend well in high-powered blender then pass and compress in a vac-pac machine to remove air bubbles


Slice the green tomatoes for the pickled green tomato using a mandolin very thinly, then cut into triangles. Compress in Chardonnay vinegar and set aside


Slice the baby corn into thin rounds and compress in some veg blanc


Slice all the veg very thinly for the green tomato and greengage sauce, and then place everything in a high-powered blender and blend well for 30 seconds before passing through a fine mesh strainer


For the avocado purée, blend everything together until smooth and then transfer to a piping bag and set aside


Blanch the sea veg in in seasoned water for 10 seconds, then strain the leaves and chill in iced water for a minute until completely cold

  • sea vegetables, such as sea blite, sea purslane, rock samphire, salty fingers and sea arrowgrass

Slice the John Dory against the grain into thin strips


Using a 7 cm circle cutter place 15 g of John Dory per person onto a sheet of parchment in a circle pattern


Once ready to serve, season the fish with olive oil, lemon juice and salt


Pipe over some avocado purée, then some greengage purée


Add four slices of greengage per person, then the compressed baby corn, pickled green tomato and the sea herbs. Drizzle with more olive oil


Pour the sauce around the fish and vegetables, and then drizzle on some more olive oil to finish

Tom Aikens is one of the most creative and talented chefs Britain has ever seen, with a restaurant empire to match.

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