Red Gurnard Al Cartoccio

Being a curious person – especially (but hopefully not only) when it comes to food – I could not simply pass by the fish counter when exhibiting this googly-eyed fellow with the colorful German name of „Kuckucksknurrhahn“ (which literally translates into English as „cuckoo growl rooster“ – no kidding). So it was settled that Saturday night would be fish night.

Gurnard sports a rather dense white flesh and is best either steamed or baked in the oven whole. This recipe comes from Sardinia and uses sun-dried tomato and lemon for flavoring.

I served the fish with a side dish of Castelluccio lentils, for which I used the lentil recipe from: Fried Pike-Perch on Puy Lentils with Dijon Mustard Sauce, replacing the puy lentils with Castelluccio lentils. Note that this lentil dish will need some preparation time!




  • 1 red gurnard, cleaned
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in halves
  • 1 bunch of broad-leaf parsley
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes, halved
  • 200 grams of grape tomatoes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground white pepper


  1. Let the sun-dried tomatoes soak in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
  3. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems, wash and dry.
  4. Fill the stomach of the gurnard with the halved garlic cloves, 1 sun-dried tomato and 1/3 of the parsley leaves. Finely chop the remaining parsley leaves and sun-dried tomato.
  5. Mix the lemon juice, a same amount of oliv oil, the chopped parsley and sun-dried tomato in a small bowl. Add the grape tomatoes, season with salt and the pepper and mix well.
  6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper (approximately twice the size of the baking tray). Place the gurnard in the center.
  7. Spread the mixture from the bowl over the fish. Make sure it is well brushed with the liquid and parsley.
  8. Fold the parchment paper over the fish. Make sure it is well enclosed.
  9. Bake in the oven for approximately 45 to 60 minutes (depending on the size of the fish).
  10. The fillets come off easily after baking. Season the fillets with some more sea salt and white pepper to taste. Serve with a side of Castelluccio lentils (for a recipe see: Fried Pike-Perch on Puy Lentils with Dijon Mustard Sauce).


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