Monkfish Stew with Fennel, Carrots & Salsa Verde


I had to make a yummy fish option for my cooking class at Daylesford and I came up with this monkfish stew packed full of delicious vegetables with a classic salsa verde to cut through the soup. This is delicious made in advance and you can just finish it off by cooking the fish at the end. It makes for a fuss free but extremely tasty summer dinner party dish. The salsa verde is also great with lamb.

Serves 2/3
1 tsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp olive oil
3 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced,
1 banana shallot, diced
1/2 leek, roughly chopped
5 rosemary sprigs
2 celery sticks, diced
1 tsp cumin seeds,
2 tsp fennel seeds
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, diced
700ml hot vegetable stock
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
125ml dry white wine
200g monkfish fillet sliced crosswise into 2cm thick chunks
Sea salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil for garnishing

For the salsa verde
4 anchovies
3 tbsp capers
80ml extra virgin olive oil
handful of mint leaves
handful of flat leaf parsley
1/2 garlic clove, diced
1/2 tsp honey
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

Set a large sauce pan to a medium to high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and a teaspoon of butter to melt and when hot add in the monkfish pieces. Season with salt and pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden and then place on to a plate covering with tin foil. In the same saucepan add the rest of the olive oil and then the carrots, fennel, shallot, leek, rosemary sprigs, celery, cherry tomatoes, cumin and fennel seeds and fry for 5 minutes. Next add in the garlic and stir everything around the pan for another 2 minutes. Pour in the white wine and allow everything to simmer for about 2 minutes for the alcohol to evaporate before mixing in the hot vegetable stock and lemon slices. Bring stew to a boil and then to a medium simmer for 10 minutes and then add in the monkfish with it’s juices and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes more until the fish begins to flake away and the vegetables are cooked. Taste to double check the seasoning and serve hot with the salsa verde drizzled on top. Toasted pine nuts are optional.

While the stew is cooking put all the ingredients together for the salsa verde into a blender and pulse blend to a nice smooth sauce. Taste to check the seasoning and then keep stored in the fridge. It can last for up to 3-4 days.

Nina ParkerComment