John Dory with Spiced Cauliflower & Tomatoes

john dory




This week’s Fish on Friday meal was a resounding success: according to AlphaMale it was the best Dinner à Deux ever. This is possibly because cauliflower is one of his favourite vegetables but also, when it was combined with curry spices & fish, it ticked all the boxes as far as his taste buds are concerned. I have to agree with him that it was pretty darned tasty, and was really simple to make too: the boys at Ashtons filleted a couple of John Dory for me but left one side with skin on so I could play around with it. In hindsight, I’d have the whole lot skinless as the skin really doesn’t do anything exciting in the frying pan, but it looked nice for photographic purposes.

Ingredients (serves 2):john dory 3

2 John Dory, filleted (skinned, optional)

1 tbsp plain flour

1 tsp garam masala

salt & freshly ground pepper

groundnut oil for frying


half a small cauliflower, broken into small florets

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

100g small new potatoes (halved if necessary)

1/2 tsp each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, garam masala & turmeric

1 red chilli (seeds removed)

a small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves & stalks separated

olive oil for frying




Preheat the oven to 200c and place an oven tray in the oven to heat up.

Par boil the new potatoes for 5 minutes, drain & cover with a tea towel to absorb any excess moisture.

Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and when hot, add all the spices, stirring quickly until the seeds start to pop. Then add the chopped coriander stalks and chilli. Mix quickly , then add the potatoes & cauliflower, stirring well to coat the vegetables with the spice mixture.

Scrape the contents of the frying pan onto the hot oven tray, add another glug of olive oil and cook for 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the tomatoes, and cook for a further 10 minutes.

When cooked, bash the potatoes gently with a rolling pin to break them up slightly, stir the whole lot really well and serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander.


Mix the garam masala & flour on a plate; season the fish well and dust with the flour.

Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a glug of groundnut oil. Cook the fish for 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Serve immediately.


To add a little pzazz to the whole thing, I made a vinaigrette by whisking together 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp white Balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard & 1/4 tsp turmeric, which I drizzled around the plate. It’s not an essential part of the meal but it seemed to bring the whole thing together quite nicely.