John Dory Fillets with a Caper and Lemon Sauce and Stir Fried Kale with Pancetta

I love going to the fishmonger and buying local fish as your not sure what you are going to get or what is in season. So on this visit they had some stunning John Dory. It is quite a distinctive looking fish with its sail fins and black dot (I’m sure there is a religious tale behind the dot or thumb print). It is a really beautiful tasting fish and the crispy skin tastes amazing. I thought I would keep it simple keeping the fish the star so I just made a simple sauce. I can add pancetta or bacon to most things and mixed with the kale you get delicious crispy salty nuggets. Everything together works beautifully on the plate and the bonus, it’s healthy!

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the fish

  • 2 John Dory fillets, or any white fish
  • 3 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

For the kale

  • Bunch of kale leaves, roughly chopped
  • 50g pancetta or bacon, cut into lardons
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped


  1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan until hot. Season the fillets and add to the pan skin side down, cook for a couple of minutes holding the fillets down so they don’t curl. Flip over the fillets and cook for a further minute then turn off the heat. Set aside in the pan so they finish cooking.
  2. To make the sauce, in a small saucepan add the olive oil, capers and lemon juice and warm through on a low to medium heat.
  3. For the stir fried kale. Add the pancetta and garlic to a pan. Over a medium heat cook for 2-3 minutes until the lardons are crispy and the garlic fragrant. Set aside on a plate. Add the kale to the pan, pour in about a tbsp of water place a lid on the pan and steam the kale for a few minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another minute so the water evaporates. Return the cooked garlic and pancetta and stir.
  4. To serve, add the cooked fish, spoon over the warm sauce. Add the kale on the side. Enjoy.

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