Pan-fried John Dory with parsley, garlic and pine nuts


Neil Perry

Autumn is the time we traditionally gather - and cook with - nuts. Choose between a hearty soup and flavoursome fish fillets.

Pan-fried John Dory with parsley garlic and pine nuts.

Pan-fried John Dory with parsley garlic and pine nuts. Photo: William Meppem


2 slices day-old white sourdough bread

2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


sea salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled, very finely chopped

4 Ortiz anchovy fillets, chopped

3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

4 x 200g John Dory fillets

1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 cup dry white wine

Serves 4

PREHEAT OVEN to 180°C. Cut bread into small dice and place in a bowl with chopped thyme and 1 tbsp of oil. Mix well, season with salt and pepper and place on roasting tray. Toast until golden brown and crisp, tossing often to prevent burning. Remove from oven.

MIX PARSLEY, garlic, anchovies and pine nuts together with 1 tbsp of oil. Set aside

SEASON THE FISH with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour. Heat the remaining oil on a high heat in a frying pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the fillets to the pan and fry for about 30 seconds on each side, until lightly golden. Add the wine, then about 1/2 cup water. Add the herb and pine nut mixture, cover with lid and simmer gently for a minute to infuse flavours.

PLATE FILLETS, spoon over sauce and finish with the crispy bread cubes.



◘ Feel free to replace the John Dory with any white-fleshed fish you like.

◘ I love this soup - it's the essence of autumn. And although it might not be the most beautiful-looking dish in the world, it is about the tastiest.

◘ You can buy peeled chestnuts frozen or in vacuum-sealed bags. If you want to use fresh ones, there are lots of tips on the internet on how to peel and cook them.



Chenin blanc

The 2013 Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc ($22) is a superb match for the delicate sweetness of the John Dory. From a biodynamic vineyard on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, it's off dry, with hints of citrus and white flowers. Delicious!

Photography: William Meppem, Jennifer Soo

Styling: Hannah Meppem

Food preparation: Nick Banbury