Pancetta-wrapped monkfish with lentils and salsa verde
- September 2019
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 1 hour, simmering time 30-35 min, oven time 8-10 min, plus chilling
“I love this combination: the meatiness of the monkfish, the saltiness of the pancetta and earthiness of the lentils. Then you get a fresh burst of herby, lemony, caper and anchovy dressing from the salsa verde. It’s a multilayered joy to eat – and easy to make.” Cameron Emirali, chef of 10 Greek Street, London
If you like the look of this, you’ll also love our monkfish fillet with red wine sauce recipe.
- 36.1g (8.3g saturated)
- 21.6g (3.7g sugars)
- 36 rashers pancetta
- 6 x 260g sustainably sourced monkfish fillets (ask your fishmonger to prepare it for you)
- 1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Handful watercress to serve
For the Lentils
- 3 tbsp light olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 3½ tbsp dry white wine
- 200g lentils (I like brown Italian castelluccio lentils)
- 1 litre fish or vegetable stock
- 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
For the Salsa verde
- 50g fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
- Small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
- Finely grated zest ½ lemon
- ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tsp small capers, chopped
- 1 tsp anchovy fillets, chopped
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp finely chopped sourdough bread
- 150ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 150g sesame seeds
- Lay 6 pancetta rashers, slightly overlapping, on a chopping board and roll one monkfish fillet up in the rashers. Season with salt and pepper, then wrap tightly in cling film. Repeat with the remaining pancetta rashers and fish fillets. Chill for 1 hour or until needed (see Make Ahead).
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. For the lentils, heat the light olive oil in a large saucepan (one with a lid) over a medium heat and add the onion, celery and fennel. Add a splash of water, cover with the lid and gently cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Once tender, remove the lid and increase the temperature. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to caramelise, then add the crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the bay leaf and white wine and simmer until the liquid has evaporated, then add the lentils and stock. Simmer for 30-35 minutes more or until the lentils are tender and have absorbed all the stock.
- While the lentils are cooking, prepare the salsa verde. In a large bowl, combine all the salsa verde ingredients, except the extra-virgin olive oil and chilli flakes, and mix by hand. Slowly drizzle in the 150ml extra-virgin olive oil, stirring it in well, then season to taste with pepper and add the chilli, if using.
- Add the red wine vinegar to the lentils along with the 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until needed.
- Remove the fish from the fridge and carefully unwrap from the cling film. Heat the 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. Add the wrapped fish to the pan, with the pancetta join on the bottom. Fry for a few minutes on each side until the pancetta is golden. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for a further 8-10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
- Divide the lentils among 6 plates, and top with a piece of monkfish and a handful of watercress on each. Serve the salsa verde alongside.
Cover the pancetta-wrapped monkfish fillets with cling film up to a day ahead and keep chilled.
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