Monkfish Saffron Roast Vegetable Stew


I had to make this for a baby shower this week and it was the perfect dish that could be ready for when the guests arrived as you gently warm it up at the end.  Monkfish is a good fish for this because it holds it's shape and can handle a reheat without falling to pieces like most white fish.  You can use cod but you will just have to be much more careful about cooking and not reheat.  I served it with a green salad with toasted walnuts and peas but if you wanted to bulk it up you can plate up with some short grain brown rice.   I also made a saffron aioli and added a teaspoon on top of every plate for an extra Je Ne Sais Quoi!


Serves 4 people


400g monkfish, the tail is probably the easier cut for this and chop into 1cm thick pieces

1 medium carrot, diced

2 sticks of celery, diced

1 red onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, diced, about 2 tbsp

100ml white wine (dry)

1 tbsp tomato, puree

2 tins plum tomatoes

2 good pinches of saffron

large handful basil leaves

bunch of parsley, leaves finely chopped and stalks separately chopped

Zest and juice of 1  lemon

350-400ml hot vegetable stock

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

For the roast vegetables:

200g baby plum tomatoes, halved

4 carrots, chopped into sicks

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line two baking trays with baking parchment.  Drizzle some olive oil over the paper and add the sweet potatoes, carrot sticks and tomato halves (cut side up) into the baking trays keeping all the veg together in groups.  They will have slightly different cooking times so you don’t want to mix them all together.   Season the trays with olive oil, salt and pepper so that everything is evenly coated and place into the oven (tomatoes on the lower level).  The tomatoes should have crisped up and gone a little sticky so remove them at around 25 minutes and put to one side.  The sweet potatoes and carrots will probably take another 10 minutes to roast.  Once everything is baked cover in tin foil and put to one side.

While the veg is roasting you can start on the stew.  Chop all the veg or if you have a blender you can pulse-blend it.  Set a large saucepan to a high heat and add 2-3 tbsp olive oil followed by the onion, celery carrots and parsley stalks.  Mix everything around with a wooden spoon and allow it all to soften for about 5 minutes before adding in the diced garlic.  Fry for another 2 minutes before pouring in the wine and let the alcohol cook off for about 2-3 minutes.  Next stir in the tomato puree followed by the tined tomatoes breaking them up with the spoon.  Add in the vegetable stock and bring the sauce up to a gentle simmer for about 5 minutes.  Season with the saffron, zest and juice of half the lemon, salt and pepper.  Now you can add the pieces of monk fish and bring the sauce back to boil and then down to a gentle simmer for about 5 minutes.  The fish should be tender but cooked all the way through.  When ready to serve add in the roasted veg, half of the chopped parsley, half the basil leaves and very carefully stir it but do not over mix.   Be light of hand!

Serve hot with a scatter of basil, parsley on each plate and a little more lemon zest and juice!

Nina ParkerComment