Roasted Monkfish with Romesco Sauce

This recipe was given to me by Clare Hunter, a very talented person who used to cook for private dinner parties on an old Thames sailing barge. The pungent, nutty romesco sauce makes a perfect partner to monkfish and this would be an ideal recipe for entertaining.

Serves 6

This recipe is taken from The Delia Collection: Fish. It has also appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Guide to Fish Cookery)

Roasted Monkfish with Romesco Sauce
 2 lb (900 g) monkfish tail (weight when boned and skinned)
 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 squeeze lemon juice
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the sauce:
 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
 3 fresh ripe plum tomatoes
 1½ oz (40 g) hazelnuts
 2 dried chillies
 1 egg yolk
 8 fl oz (225 ml) extra virgin olive oil
 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
To garnish:
 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
 lemon wedges
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).


First, to make the sauce, put the whole garlic cloves, tomatoes and hazelnuts into a shallow roasting tray in the oven for 10 minutes, then add the chillies. Cook for another 5 minutes until the hazelnuts are golden. Scrape the flesh from the tomatoes and put into the blender with the egg yolk, chillies, hazelnuts and garlic. Blend on high speed and add the olive oil slowly to make a smooth sauce.

Next, stir in the vinegar, season lightly, cover and leave aside. Take the fish from the fridge 30 minutes before you need it, to allow it to reach room temperature. When you are ready to cook the fish, turn the oven up to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C) and lightly oil the fish fillets. Heat a large frying pan, add the remaining oil and when it is very hot put the oiled fillets in and lightly brown on all sides. T

ransfer them to the roasting tray and cook on the top shelf of the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. Remove from the oven, season with salt and freshly milled black pepper and sprinkle over some lemon juice. If necessary, reduce the juices from the fish by letting them bubble over a high heat. Slice the fillets across the diagonal on to warmed serving plates, pour over a little of the fish juice and serve with the romesco sauce, sprigs of parsley and lemon wedges. Clare serves this with some Puy lentils cooked in red wine with thyme and dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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