Monkfish with romesco and sage

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

You can substitute any robust fish here, but delicate fish such as trout or salmon would be lost under the punchy flavours.

800g/1¾lb monkfish
For the romesco sauce
50g/2oz shelled almonds
50g/2oz shelled hazelnuts
2 ripe tomatoes
1 large red chilli
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 small bunch of sage, leaves only
1 tsp sweet red paprika
1 tbsp good-quality red-wine vinegar
4 tbsp coarse fresh white breadcrumbs
120ml/4fl oz mild extra-virgin olive oil

For the romesco sauce, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place the nuts on the baking tray and roast in the middle of the oven for 5-6 minutes until evenly golden. Tip the hot nuts into a clean, dry cloth and rub to remove the skins.

Now place the tomatoes and chilli on a baking tray and roast for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until the tomatoes are slightly coloured and bursting from their skins, and the chilli is soft – it might take an extra minute or two.

Put the garlic, the sage leaves and a pinch of salt into a large mortar and crush with a pestle to a rough paste, then add the chilli and crush. Add the roasted nuts and pound until the paste is fairly smooth, but still retains some texture. Add the tomatoes and paprika and continue to pound but more gently now. Stir in the wine vinegar, breadcrumbs and finally the extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste and set aside.

To cook the monkfish, heat one large or two smaller pans over a fairly high heat, season the fish well and add a little olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the fish and cook for 5 minutes before turning and cooking the underside. Serve with the romesco and maybe a simple mashed sweet potato.

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