Gurnard with caramelised chicory and orange

Gurnard with caramelised chicory and orange

Fish Kitchen
David Loftus

There are several varieties of gurnard, but the most popular are the red, grey and the larger tub. This dish works best with the smaller red gurnard, which cook quickly and more evenly. Their sweet taste works well with the bitter chicory and orange, and the mustard adds a kick. Be warned, the scales on small gurnard can be difficult to remove, so you may need to skin the fillets to lose them, or leave them on.


Quantity Ingredient
4 gurnard, scaled, gutted, filleted and pin-boned
3 heads white chicory
light rapeseed oil, for cooking
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons chervil, chopped
2 teaspoons tarragon, chopped
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
200g full-fat creme fraiche
2 heads red chicory
2 oranges
3 tablespoons caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the chicory, heat up your steamer (or, better still, use a Chinese bamboo steamer over a pan of simmering water). Halve 2 white chicory heads lengthways and season with a little salt. Cook them in the steamer for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and add a little oil. When hot, add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, without colouring. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan and leave to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, stir the herbs and mustard into the crème fraîche. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Slice the remaining white chicory and the red chicory and place in a bowl. Add the cooled onion and enough of the crème fraîche to dress the chicory.
  5. Finely grate the zest and squeeze the juice from one of the oranges; segment the other orange, cut into small pieces and set aside.
  6. Remove the steamed chicory from the steamer. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the sugar. When it starts to caramelise, add the steamed chicory halves, cut side down, and caramelise for 1 minute without turning. Add half of the butter with the orange zest and juice. Let bubble until the liquor starts to thicken, then remove from the heat. Transfer the chicory to a warm plate and keep warm.
  7. Wipe out the pan and return to a medium heat. When hot, add a drizzle of oil. Season the fish fillets all over and then place skin side down in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn the fish over and add the remaining butter. Reduce the heat to low and cook gently for another couple of minutes.
  8. Place a caramelised chicory half on each plate with a portion of the creamy dressed chicory and onion. Arrange the pan-fried gurnard fillets on the plates and finish with the orange pieces. Serve at once.
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