John Dory Fillet with Mashed Zucchini, Mixed Lettuce, and Crostini

Credit: Didier Loire
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Ingredients (4 people)

Mesclun and Squid

  • 7 ounces mesclun (200 g)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 loaf French bread
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 1/4 ounces small squid (120 g)
  • 3 quarts grapeseed oil (3 l)
  • 3 1/2 ounces rice flour (100 g)
  • seasoning olive oil
  • fleur de sel


Step 1: John Dory

Trim and carefully scale the John Dory. Remove the gills and clean completely, then rinse under cold running water and pat dry with a clean dishtowel.

Remove the stems of the tomatoes, and cut them into even slices 1/5 inch (5 mm) thick.

Trim off the lemon ends, then cut into 1/5 inch (5 mm) thick slices.

Peel the fennel, and thinly slice.

Season the fish, place in an oval baking dish large enough to hold the pieces without overlapping, and add the vegetables. Generously moisten with seasoning olive oil and the chicken consommé, reduced by half.

Begin cooking over a high heat. When the stock comes to a simmer, place the dish in a 430°F (220°C) oven, and bake, basting throughout the cooking time.

Once cooked, transfer the cooking juice to a sauté pan through a fine-meshed chinois. Sieve half the vegetables to bind the sauce, then reduce.

When ready to serve, drizzle some seasoning olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice over the top, season to taste, and add the black olives.

Step 2: Zucchini Purée

Trim off the zucchini ends, then rinse under cold running water. Gently pat dry with a clean dry cloth, and finely dice.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a sauté pan, add the crushed, unpeeled garlic cloves, and the sprig of thyme. Once the oil begins to smoke, add the diced zucchini, season with fleur de sel, cover the pan, and cook, making sure none of the ingredients stick together.

When the zucchini has cooked, remove the sprig of thyme. Discard the garlic, and mash the zucchini with a fork. After all the cubes have been crushed, emulsify with seasoning olive oil and thin with the chicken bouillon as needed. Sprinkle in the chopped basil, and season to taste with salt as needed and fresh black pepper.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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