It is a rare treat for me to use monkfish. Always ensure you buy from a sustainable source and it’s very fresh. Monkfish has a meaty texture with no small bones, just one central bone that can be left in if you want to cook it on the barbecue, or trimmed and the bone removed. Either way, don’t overcook the fish - keep it slightly underdone and allow to rest as it does go a bit dry if it’s over cooked. I’m serving here with salsa verde, a brilliant sauce a bit like pesto, but so much better.
1 large monkfish tail, either on or off the bone, get your fishmonger to help you trim it or remove the bone
4 large new season tomatoes, I like Isle of Wight organic tomatoes
A small handful each of fresh mint, parsley and basil, washed and dried
1 tablespoon of capers
1 tablespoon of anchovies, optional
1 tablespoon of good Dijon or wholegrain mustard
250ml extra-virgin olive oil, I use Palestinian organic olive oil, plus extra for roasting the tomatoes
A splash of red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic
A few sprigs of thyme
Good salt and pepper
A few edible flowers, optional
A splash of sunflower oil
Lemon juice for seasoning
Pre-heat oven to 130°C.
To make the semi-dried tomatoes, remove the eyes from the tomatoes and cut them half . Then cut each half into 4 wedges and place in an oven-proof dish. Trickle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle over the thyme leaves. Place in the oven for a few hours until just semi-dried.
To make the salsa verde, blitz the herbs, capers, anchovies, vinegar, garlic and mustard, and olive oil in a blender until a slightly chunky consistency is achieved. Taste and season as required.
Prepare the fish for cooking by patting it dry and seasoning. Then place a frying pan on the hob and add a splash of sunflower oil. Once the oil is very hot add the monkfish very carefully. Colour the fish on all sides then season again and place in a hot (180°C) oven for a few minutes until it is still slightly under cooked.
Remove from the oven and season with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper if required.
To serve, slice the fish and drizzle with salsa verde and serve with the tomatoes.