Pan Fried Gurnard Fillets with Olive Oil, Caper, Tomato and Basil Sauce Recipe

We love to try the cheaper local fish and gurnard is one of them. I also think they are rather pretty with their red skin and whiskers. They are slightly thicker than a seabass fillet so need to be cooked evenly on both sides rather than mainly on skin side down like seabass. Its flavour is sweet and meaty and our take on a salse verde is salty, sweet and addictive with a fresh lift from the basil. The new potatoes are great for finishing the lovely sauce so there isn’t any left.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 Gurnard Fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, for frying

For the Sauce

  • 100ml good quality olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped


  1. Start off the sauce by adding the olive oil and sliced tomatoes to a pan, bring to the boil then remove from heat to soften and sweeten the tomatoes for 5 mins.
  2. Put the pan back on a simmer and add the capers and anchovy paste and leave to simmer while you cook the fish.
  3. To cook the fish, add the olive oil into a frying pan and heat until hot on a high heat. Cook on skin side down for 2 1/2 minutes then flip the fish and cook for the same amount of time.
  4. Turn off the heat so that the fish can rest for minute.
  5. Finish off the sauce by adding in the chopped basil.
  6. Serve the fish on warm plates spoon over the sauce and serve with boiled new potatoes.

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