Red gurnard with mushrooms, garlic, parsley and oven-dried tomatoes

Red gurnard with mushrooms, garlic, parsley and oven-dried tomatoes

British Seafood
David Loftus

Gurnard is a fish that can handle big bold flavours. It has a fairly subtle taste, which is greatly enhanced by ingredients that marry well. Here the combination of pickled mushrooms, parsley and garlic works with the sweet, slightly acidic semi-dried tomatoes to bring out the best in the gurnard.


Quantity Ingredient
4 gurnard, scaled, gutted, filleted and pin-boned
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
100ml red wine vinegar
50g caster sugar
100ml red wine
150g unsalted butter
1 sprig thyme
50ml olive oil
400g japanese cultivated mushrooms, like shiitake, shimeji or oyster
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
light rapeseed oil, for cooking
1 quantity Oven-dried tomatoes
2 teaspoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1 bunch watercress, washed and trimmed
2 teaspoons Red wine shallots


  1. Put the red onion, a quarter of the garlic, half of the red wine vinegar, the sugar and red wine into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and let bubble until the liquor is well reduced and syrupy, then remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, put the butter into another pan with another quarter of the garlic and the thyme. Melt over a medium heat and simmer until the butter starts to bubble and turn a light brown colour. Remove from the heat and allow to cool and settle.
  3. To cook the mushrooms, heat a large non-stick frying pan. When hot, add the olive oil followed by the mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. Tip in the shallot and half the remaining chopped garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the rest of the red wine vinegar, stirring to deglaze the pan, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the mushrooms to a tray and set aside.
  4. To cook the fish, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add a little oil and place the fillets in the pan, skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes until the skin starts to crisp up, then flip the fish over and cook for a further 1 minute. Take off the heat, but keep the fish in the pan to finish off the cooking.
  5. In a medium pan, add 4 tablespoons of the red wine reduction to the brown butter, followed by the mushrooms, remaining garlic, oven-dried tomatoes and chopped parsley. Warm through gently over a low heat and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Divide the watercress between 4 plates and scatter over the pickled shallot. Arrange the fish fillets on top and spoon on the mushrooms, tomatoes and dressing. Serve at once.
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