John Dory with braised peas and lettuce

John Dory with braised peas and lettuce

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
75g pancetta
3 little gem lettuce hearts
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
200g frozen peas
225ml Chicken and veal stock
4 john dory fillets, each about 170 g
1/2 lemon
15g butter
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Derind the pancetta if necessary and cut into lardons. Remove the outer leaves of the lettuce, if coarse. Trim off the root end, leaving the head intact, then quarter lengthways. Coarsely chop enough parsley leaves to give you 1–2 tablespoons.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the pancetta and fry over a low to medium heat until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add the lettuce to the pan and lightly brown on all sides.
  3. Pour off any excess fat, then add the peas to the pan and lower the heat. Add enough stock to just cover the peas and lettuce, and a little salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently until the lettuce and peas are tender, 4–5 minutes.
  4. Heat the grill to its highest setting. Add the pancetta to the peas and lettuce, taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm while you cook the fish.
  5. Place the John Dory fillets skin side up on an oiled, lipped baking sheet. Juice the ½ lemon. Season the fish with a little salt and drizzle with lemon juice. Grill the fish until the skin has browned and the flesh is opaque and cooked through, 4–5 minutes. You should not need to turn the fish.
  6. Remove the fish from the grill and set aside to rest for 2–3 minutes. Reheat the peas and lettuce, add the parsley and stir through the butter.
  7. Divide the lettuce mixture between 4 deep plates. Place a piece of John Dory on top and serve immediately.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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