Monkfish with Sage and Garlic Butter, Spinach and Pine Nuts

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Monkfish is a firm fish and can take a lot of added flavour. Serve with buttermilk mashed potatoes (see recipe below).

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
40g butter
4 sage leaves
100ml white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g of baby spinach leaves
4 x 180g monkfish fillets
About 30 pine nuts


1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan and gently fry the garlic over a medium heat until lightly golden. Discard the garlic. Add half the butter and all the sage leaves and cook for 2 minutes. Add the white wine and bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced by half. Season to taste.

2. Prepare the spinach: wilt the spinach in a saucepan with a little water. Drain and squeeze to remove the liquid. Return to the saucepan, add the rest of the butter and season to taste (the butter is salty so you may only need black pepper). Keep warm.

3. Season the monkfish. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the monkfish in two batches, cooking the fish skin-side down first until golden. It should take 2-3 minutes per side over medium heat depending on thickness. Make a small cut in the fish with a sharp knife to check done-ness – the flesh should be translucent. Add the sage butter to the pan with the monkfish and use it to baste the fish for the last minute of cooking.

4. In a dry pan fry the pine nuts for 30 seconds over a low heat until they are lightly golden on both sides.

5. To serve, divide the spinach between four plates and place the monkfish on top, drizzle with sage butter and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

Buttermilk mashed potato recipe
Make mashed potatoes as normal (boil peeled potatoes until fork-soft, drain well, season and mash with lots of butter (in the ratio of 3 parts potato to 1 part butter) but at the end instead of adding warm full-fat milk, add a few tablespoons of buttermilk instead.


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