A five-star recipe that is very dear to Chef Stephane Raimbault, Roasted John Dory with Vegetables and Herbs is one of the keystone healthy dinner dishes in the menu of his restaurant L’Oasis, a gourmet paradise with a quiet atmosphere in the Mandelieu la Napoule located on the French Riviera. He has perfected this recipe over the years and has become one of his specialties. Like many dishes in his restaurant, it makes use of fresh local ingredients. Every morning, Chef Raimbault buys the ingredients in the Provence markets and creates fish recipes inspired by the abundance of produce in the region.
The main ingredient used in this dish is the local John Dory, also known as St. Peter fish. It is cooked and served with a healthy heap of vegetables and generous amounts of herbs from the Provence. This recipe uses six different types of herbs: fennel, rosemary, thyme, basil, tarragon, and parsley. The herbs are used to make the tomato juice, to stuff the fish, to flavor the sauce, and are also baked with the artichokes. These are all prepared separately to make the flavors more distinctive. Later on, they are all combined together and arranged in a large serving plate. The result is a harmonious medley of flavors, sweet and juicy, strong and mild, fragrant and savory. The colorful dish engages all of the senses for a hearty and memorable meal. This is best enjoyed with a full-flavored white wine, particularly Chassagne –Montrachet.
Ingredients: 4 John Dory, about 0.88 lbs. each, 8 small potatoes (Roseval), 4 small purple artichokes, 4 small fennel stalks, 2 dried tomatoes, 4 fresh tomatoes, 12 cherry tomatoes, olives, violet garlic, olive oil, basil oil, basil, thyme, rosemary powder, tarragon, parsley, salt and pepper, dried orange peel, butter
Slice the potatoes, not so thinly, and spread them around a baking dish with olive oil. Add the cloves of garlic, a few spots of butter, and drizzle with olive oil. Cook in the oven at about a 180°.Next, for the tomato juice. Pour some olive oil in a pan. Crush the garlics, slice some tarragon stems and stalks of fennel, and then spread them around the pan. Cut the tomatoes in halves and spread them on the pan with the round side upwards. Now, cover the pan with foil, then with its lid, and then put into a slow oven. Next, boil some water. Cut the ends from the fennel and add it on the boiling water. Then get the artichokes. Remove the hard outside leaves. Drench a little in water mixed with lemon juice. Divide into quarters. Then blanch slightly with the fennel. When they’re already cooked enough, drain then put them on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and add some cherry tomatoes also drizzled with olive oil. Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Gut and clean the John Dory fish. Take some parsley, tarragon, and thyme, fold them together then stuff them in the John Dory. Cut about the sides of the fish. Brush one side of the fish with Basil oil and sprinkle with salt, ground pepper, ground dried orange peel, and pounded rosemary. Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes. After the fish is cooked, place it on a serving plate. Pour the contents of the cooking dish right through a strainer and into a pan with some filtered tomato juice. Add to the mixture the dried tomatoes and black olives then simmer. Spread the baked tomatoes fennels, artichokes, and cherry tomatoes around the John Dory fish. Take the tomato juice mixture; add some basil oil and fresh basils. Sauce the Dish with the mixture.
This dish is a warm soul food that will energize, stimulate and uplift the senses. Ideal for lunch, it is a light and nutritious meal that might as well be medicinal for all the herbs it uses. The meaty and boneless flesh of the John Dory absorbs the flavors of the herbs well and the experience of biting into it is pure paradise.