200ml water
5 lemon verbena leaves
5 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms
50g butter, plus an extra knob
to cook the fish
100g fresh peas
100g fresh broad beans
2 young onions, cut into 1cm slices
100g young carrots, diced
100g turnips, diced
100g baby fennel, diced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 John Dory fillet, cut into 2 portions
1 chive flower head

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John Dory with Young Vegetables and Lemon Verbena Stock


This is a dish I make at home. It is a quick, light and healthy tea. You can use any nice fresh, young vegetables - I tend to steal whatever I can from the Black Swan garden! Peel and chop them all down and then the whole thing is ready in 5 minutes. By having all the vegetables the same size, they will cook quickly and evenly, keeping their freshness.

Bring the water to the boil and pour over the lemon verbena leaves and shiitake mushrooms. Leave to infuse for 5 minutes.

Take two large non-stick frying pans and put them both over a high heat. Put half the butter in one of the pans and add all the vegetables, quickly coating them in the foaming butter. Add the lemon verbena and shiitake stock and bring to the boil.

Drizzle the vegetable oil in the other pan and add the fish.

Keep the heat high and reduce the stock over the vegetables – they will cook as the stock reduces, flavouring the stock beautifully. After 1 minute add the remaining butter and stir in to thicken the sauce.

When the fish has a nice golden crust, turn it over, add a knob of butter and cook for a further 30 seconds. To test if the fish is cooked, insert a metal skewer into the middle part and then touch it on your lip; if it feels warm then remove the fish from the pan – the residual heat will finish the cooking of the fish.

Spoon the vegetables and stock into two serving bowls, place the fish on top and scatter with the chive flowers.