Quick Recipes and Easy

Classic Dishes of Provence- Fillets of John Dory With Fresh Basil

Ingredients (for 4 servings): 4 fillets of John Dory, skin attached; 1 aubergine; 1 large courgette; 4 large, ripe tomatoes; 30ml olive oil; 50ml pistou (see recipe below); 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence; fresh basil; salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Method:Pre-heat the oven to 190C/ 375F/ Gas Mark 5.

Prepare the vegetables. Cut the aubergine and courgette into diagonal slices. Skin the tomatoes and slice into thick rounds.

Toss the aubergine and courgette slices in olive oil, dried herbs and seasoning.

Heat a ridged cast-iron frying pan, and fry the aubergine and courgette slices on both sides over a moderate heat to give them the characteristic criss-cross effect.

Lay them on a lightly oiled baking sheet with the tomato slices and place in the pre-heated oven to end cooking.

Rub the John Dory fillets with olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Fry them, skin side down, in the same cast-iron pan for 2 minutes. Turn them carefully and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side. Transfer to the oven with the vegetables to end cooking.

In a small saucepan heat the pistou very gently over a low heat.

To serve the dish, arrange the slices of aubergine, courgette and tomato decoratively on the upper half of 4 large plates. Lay the John Dory fillets carefully below the vegetables.

Add a few finely shredded basil leaves, drizzle the pistou sauce over the fish and vegetables and serve at once.

For the sauce Pistou:

Ingredients: 3 large cloves garlic; large handful fresh basil leaves; 50ml extra-virgin olive oil; salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Method: Peel the garlic. Remove the basil leaves from their stalks. Pound the basil and garlic together with a pestle and mortar until you have a smooth, green paste. (You could, of course, use a food processor – but there’s something lovely and soothing about making pesto using the traditional tools!)

Add the olive oil, drop by drop, as if making mayonnaise. Season. Serve.

For more information on the food and wine of Provence – including loads of free recipes – please check out the author’s web site at: cafe-de-provence.com cafe-de-provence.com

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