Cooking with Nathan : Monkfish

Or, to be absolutely precise, bocconcini of monkfish with potato, tomato and a black olive crumble.

There really isn’t much to go wrong with this one. The only thing that takes a bit of time is the olive crumble, and you can prep that in advance.

I cooked this with a G&T to hand, and Kraftwerk’s 3-D. Der Katalog on headphones. Not the whole thing, of course. I think I’d barely made it past the Autobahn section by the time we were ready to go.

Now, this recipe is not an exact science in terms of quantities. As a rule of thumb, you’re kind of looking for an equal amount of fish, potato and tomato. That’s pretty much it. Look at the photo, that’s about right.

Ingredients (for two)

Two monkfish fillets (you could do this yourself, but your fishmonger will do it in seconds and maintain a complete set of fingers as well)
Similar quantity of potato
Similar quantity of tomato
Basil leaves
Ten black olives
Olive oil
Salt/pepper to taste


  1. Heat your oven to 120 degrees.
  2. Stone and halve the olives. Lay them on a lined baking tray inside the oven for up to two hours.
  3. Do something else for about an hour and a half
  4. Peel and dice the potato.
  5. Chop the tomatoes into similar sized chunks. Small tomatoes are the best here – I used datterini – but basically just use the best you can find. The key to this recipe is using the best ingredients to hand.
  6. Cut the monkfish into similar sized pieces.
  7. Put the potato cubes on to steam. For pieces this size, it should only take fifteen minutes.
  8. Gently fry the tomatoes. You don’t want them to fall apart; just enough to warm them through and release their juices.
  9. Take the olives out of the oven, and chop them as fine as you please.
  10. When the potatoes are almost done (after about ten minutes), add the monkfish nuggets to the steamer for another 5 minutes.
  11. Add the monkfish/potato combo to the tomato pan. Tear up some basil and throw that in as well. Drizzle with a generous quantity of the best olive oil you have – and this really is a dish that will benefit from the best oil you can find.
  12. Plate it up, and scatter the olive crumble on top. Prosecco or white wine to accompany (doesn’t have to be posh…notice from the photo that ours is coming out of a plastic bottle. A 1.5 litre plastic bottle, admittedly…)

    It all looks very pretty and – the crumble aside – it’s nice and quick to make, so ideal for entertaining. Caroline thought a little garlic might have made it even better but I’m not so sure – the flavours are quite delicate in this dish, and I’d worry that the garlic might overwhelm them. But by all means give it a go!

    Happy cooking and eating everyone!

3 thoughts on “Cooking with Nathan : Monkfish

  1. Thank you Nathan! Looks delicious!
    We can’t get monkfish here but we’ll try scallops instead or perhaps haddock….maybe even tilapia.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like Winnie, we don’t have that fish here. But i might try it with a firm white fish and see how that goes. ❤

    Here's what Wiki-what-knows-everything had to say: Monkfish, also known as Stargazer in Australia, is affectionately known as “poor man's lobster” because the flesh resembles lobster meat – only much more economical. The cooked meat of a monkfish has a similarly meaty and succulent texture, with a sweet and clean flavour that's not fishy at all

    Liked by 1 person

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