Pan-seared Monkfish with Pumpkin Puree, Sauté Cabbage, Roasted Salsify, Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade & Saffron Aioli

This pan-seared monkfish with pumpkin puree, sauté cabbage, roasted salsify, sun-dried tomato tapenade & saffron aioli is from the cookbook “New Irish cooking” by Conrad Gallagher. The firm flesh and sturdy flavour of monkfish allow for robust treatment and rich flavouring.


Olive oil – 4 tbsp

Salsify peeled – 12

Shallots peeled – 12

Sugar – 2 tsp

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chicken stock – 60 ml

Savoy cabbage shredded – ½

Leek finely chopped – ½

Spring onions finely chopped – 2

Spinach finely sliced – 40 grams

Spiced lentils – 100 grams

Roasted red pepper cut into strips – 1

Pumpkin puree recipe – 1

Monkfish fillets – 4 x 120 grams

Rosemary – 4 sprigs

Madeira – 60 ml

Sun-dried tomato tapenade – 40 grams

Saffron aioli  – 40 ml

Lemon & lime beurre blanc  – 80 ml


Chervil – 12 sprigs

Bunch chives chopped – 1 small

Deep fried spinach recipe – 1


  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius/300F/gas mark 2.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the salsify and shallots.
  2. Allow them to take on some colour and then add the sugar and 25g of butter. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to an ovenproof dish when the vegetables start to caramelise.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of chicken stock, cover with tinfoil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
  4. Turn the oven up to 200 degrees Celsius/400F/gas mark 6. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and 25g of the butter in a medium sized saucepan and sauté the cabbage until just starting to wilt, then add the leek and half the spring onions. Add the spinach and season well. Set aside.
  5. In a large saucepan, combine the salsify and shallots, with the spiced lentils and pepper. Gently heat through. Reheat the pumpkin puree with a little butter and chicken stock. Reheat the cabbage mixture.
  6. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan. Season the monkfish with salt and pepper and then quickly sear it on all side.
  7. Add the rosemary, madeira and remaining butter and chicken stock. Baste the fish with the cooking liquor and transfer it to an ovenproof dish.
  8. Finish cooking in the oven for 5 minutes or until the flesh is firm to the touch.

To serve

  1. Place some tapenade, aioli and beurre blanc on each plate.
  2. Place some of the cabbage mixture in the center of each plate and top with the pumpkin puree.
  3. Arrange some of the spiced lentil mixture around and place a monkfish fillet on top of the puree. Garnish with sprigs of chervil and chives and deep-fried spinach. Serve immediately.
  4. The recipe serves 4 people.

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