This is one of my favourite ways of cooking monkfish because it is so easy and so delicious. The carefully trimmed fillet is spiked with garlic and laid over very finely sliced onion and both liberally doused with olive oil. The fish ends up tender and succulent, the onions soft, juicy and sweet. Be warned, though, the fillets shrink alarmingly so don’t be mean with the sizing. Last night I served it with griddled slices of courgette scattered with lemon juice, olive oil and finely chopped garlic and flat leaf parsley. Instead of the game chips (tossed with salt and chives) in the photo (from The Fish Store book), I served minted Cornish earlies. Top meal.
4 monkfish tail fillets, approx 250g each
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
4 medium onions, approx 250g
best olive oil for serving
salt and freshly milled black pepper
lemon wedges to serve
Heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Remove any trace of the slimy membrane covering the monkfish. Peel the garlic and slice very thinly. Using a small sharp knife, make several slashes in the monkfish as you were preparing to garlic a lamb joint. Post the garlic in the slashes. Use 1 tbsp of the oil to smear all over the fish. Set aside. Generously smear a baking tin with some of the oil. Peel and halve the onions. Slice them very thinly. Spread them out in the baking tin to make a bed for the monkfish and lay the fillets on top, lining them up side by side. Season the fish with salt and pepper and splash with the remaining olive oil. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the onions tender and browned slightly at the edges. Serve with a splash of your finest olive oil. To serve, give the monkfish tails and their juicy onion goo a generous seasoning of sea salt and black pepper and a lavish swirl of your best olive oil.