Bursting with colour and flavour, this beautiful dish is perfect for entertaining guests all year round.

Crispy Skin John Dory with Saffron Orzo and Parsley Sauce

Bursting with colour and flavour, this beautiful crispy skin John Dory served with a Mediterranean-inspired orzo, and parsley and pine nut sauce, is perfect for entertaining guests all year round.
45 mins
6 people



  • 3 cups vegetable stock

  • 20g butter

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 red onion, finely diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes

  • 1 generous pinch of saffron

  • 1 cup orzo pasta

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 6 x 150g john dory fillets, skin on

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  • 40g pine nuts, toasted

  • 3 tablespoons parsley

  • 1 clove garlic

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • sea salt

  • cracked pepper

  • lemon wedges


  1. In a pot, bring vegetable stock to a simmer then set aside.

  2. Heat butter and oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over a moderate heat. Add the diced onion and gently fry until soft and translucent then add the garlic and chilli flakes and fry briefly until aromatic.

  3. Add in the saffron, orzo and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until orzo is cooked and stock has been completely absorbed and season generously with sea salt and cracked pepper.

  4. Remove the orzo from the heat and stir through the parsley, lemon zest and juice.

  5. Season john dory fillets with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place oil and fillets, skin side down, in a cold, nonstick pan. Place on a medium/high heat and fry until golden and crispy and mostly cooked through. Turn the fillets over and briefly cook the flesh side.

  6. Finely chop pine nuts, parsley and garlic and place in a small bowl with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper and mix well to combine.


Spread the saffron orzo on a serving dish or individual plates, top with crispy john dory fillets and drizzle generously with parsley sauce Pop on a few lemon wedges for extra zing.


To guarantee a gorgeous crispy skin on your john dory fillets, cook in batches to prevent overcrowding the pan.

Sanford and Sons John Dory Skin on Fillets on tray with garnish and lime.
Perfect for this recipe

John Dory Fillets

Minimum 360g per unit $21.00
Subscription available
Shop Now
Sign-up for product news, recipes and special offers.
Retail Store
22 Jellicoe St, Freemans Bay, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
© 2022 Sanford and Sons, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.