Roast John Dory with tomato tart

This beautifully artistic John Dory recipe sees the fish fillets striped with purées of black garlic, parsley and datterino tomato and sits beside a gorgeous tomato tart decorated with compressed cucumber, almonds and baby leaves. Definitely one to impress at your next dinner party.

First published in 2021




Tomato tart

Burnt datterino purée

Parsley purée

Black garlic purée

John dory


  • Mandoline
  • Sous vide equipment
  • Bar sealer
  • 3 squeezy bottles
  • Tart tins



Halve the tomato ananas, then cut the rounded ends off to create 2 thick circles and sprinkle the cut sides with rock salt. Set aside for a couple of hours in order to draw out any excess water

  • 1 large ananas tomato, also known as pineapple tomato
  • rock salt

Preheat an oven to 210ºC/gas mark 7. Halve the datterino tomatoes and place on a Japanese konro barbecue, a hot pan or over a gas flame on the hob until they start to blacken. Once nice and coloured, place them on a baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil, thyme leaves and seasoning. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated


Scrape the tomato pulp into a blender and mix until completely smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and place in a piping bag or squeezy bottle and reserve in the fridge


To make the parsley purée, blanch the parsley leaves in salted boiling water twice, then plunge into iced water. Squeeze out excess water then place in a blender with the reduced cream, olive oil and seasoning. Blitz until smooth then pass through a fine sieve and transfer to a piping bag or squeezy bottle and reserve in the fridge


To make the black garlic purée, place the black garlic cloves into a blender with the water and olive oil. Blitz until smooth then season, pass through a fine sieve and transfer to a piping bag or squeezy bottle and reserve in the fridge


For the tart garnish, use a mandoline to make long ribbons of cucumber. Place the ribbons in a vacuum bag with the dill oil, then compress and seal


Preheat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 4. Cut 2 pastry discs out, a little larger than the circles of ananas tomato. Prick the puff pastry with a fork and brush each one with the Dijon mustard


Remove any excess salt and juices from the circles of tomato and pat dry with kitchen paper to avoid the pastry getting soggy. Season them with pepper. Wrap the pastry base up around the sides of each piecepf tomato to create 2 tarts, then sit each one into snugly fitting tart tins


Bake the tarts for 50 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. Carefully cut the tarts in half (it is one half tart per portion), then decorate with the rolled ribbons of compressed cucumber, fresh almonds, caper leaves, red vein sorrel and fennel flowers


Finally, cook the John Dory. Drizzle some olive oil in a large frying pan and place over a high heat. Season the fillets of fish with salt and pepper and, once hot, place in the frying pan and cook for 1 minute. Carefully turn over, add the butter and baste for a further minute


Remove from the pan and place onto a clean tray or plate and drizzle over a mixture of the 3 purées, as shown in the image. Serve the John Dory on one plate and the tomato tart on another plate beside it

After gaining experience in some of the most acclaimed kitchens in Europe, Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari decided to start a journey of their own by opening the refreshingly relaxed Caractère in Notting Hill, and they haven’t looked back since.

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