A flattish, almost circular fish with a large head and a spiky dorsal fin. It can be recognized by a large black mark on the body.
In some languages the John Dory is called “St Peter’s Fish” and the black mark is said to be where St Peter placed his thumb.
Cooking John Dory
An expensive delicacy in Southern Europe where they prefer to grill it. It goes by the name “gallo” in Spain, which means cockerel. Grill it carefully, the flesh tastes good but is also very lean and quickly goes dry.
When grilling a whole fish like this one, make sure the surface is dry. Coat it with a thin layer of oil (on the fish, the grill or both) just before cooking. Give the flesh/skin against the griddle time to dry, harden and come away from the surface.
Serve with lemon, fresh bread and aioli or another rich sauce.
Around the Mediterranean it is grilled, but frying it with plenty of butter isn’t a bad idea either. And cucumber is a lighter option when it comes to accompaniments.
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