Roasted monkfish with classic French lentils

White fish, ham and Puy lentils is a hard-to-beat combo and with a meaty fish like monkfish, this is a supper to savour.


For the classic French lentils
  • knob of butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 150g/5½oz pancetta, diced
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ leek, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 300g/10½oz Puy lentils
  • 175ml/6fl oz red wine
  • 450ml/16fl oz dark chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp good sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 slices pancetta, cooked
  • 2 tbsp parsley cress
For the roasted monkfish tail
  • 400g/14oz monkfish tails, trimmed, skinned and filleted
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Preparation method

  1. For the classic French lentils, heat a sauté pan or a large frying pan and then add the butter and oil. Once hot, add the onion and cook for two minutes. Add the garlic, diced pancetta, carrot, celery, leek and bay leaf and cook for a further two minutes.

  2. Add the lentils and red wine and bring to the boil. Cook until the volume of wine has reduced by half, then add the stock and cook the lentils for 25-30 minutes. Mix in the sherry vinegar and parsley.

  3. For the monkfish, season the monkfish fillets with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4. Heat a frying pan until smoking, add the olive oil and monkfish and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and the fish is cooked through. Remove from the pan and rest on a warm plate for 2-3 minutes, then thickly slice into four pieces.

  5. To serve, place a spoonful of the lentils in each of four shallow serving bowls and place the sliced monkfish on top. Garnish with the sliced cooked pancetta and the parsley cress.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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