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Emily Roux's Roast Monkfish, Beurre Noir and Spring Vegetables

With its large flattened head and glossy skin, Monkfish can be quite alarming to look at, but don’t let that put you off. It’s often sold head off, leaving the prime flesh of the tail divided into two fillets by a single backbone.

The accompanying seasonal vegetables, simply cooked, bring this beautiful dish together. Cooked radishes are an underrepresented ingredient; roasting subdues their peppery bite, rendering the radishes juicy and sweet.

Emily Roux's Roast Monkfish, Beurre Noir and Spring Vegetables

You’ll find Lotte au Beurre Blanc on most bistro menus. It’s a classic French dish, simple and authentic, and one that my grandfather, Albert adores. This month, I have reinterpreted one of his favourite recipes and made it my own, with brighter colours and bolder flavours.

About this recipe

Preparation Time 25 Minutes
Cooking Time 25 Minutes
Serves 4 People
Emily Roux's Roast Monkfish, Beurre Noir and Spring Vegetables Emily Roux's Roast Monkfish, Beurre Noir and Spring Vegetables


For the monkfish

  • 1 monkfish, skinned (1kg)
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

To prepare the roast vegetables

  • 1 bunch of coloured radishes (reserve a couple to serve)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 200g Jersey Royal new potatoes

To prepare the black butter

  • 130ml white wine
  • 100ml white vinegar
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 130g butter, cubed
  • 2 sachets squid ink
  • Salt and pepper



To note: The meaty, firm white flesh is excellent poached, barbequed, pan-fried or served raw. Although monkfish is expensive, I think it is well worth the investment. Ask your fishmonger to skin your fish and, if necessary, cut it into pieces that will comfortably fit your cooking pan.


To note: You’ll find several suppliers of squid ink sachets online.


Preheat your oven to 190°C.


To prepare the black butter: Heat the vinegar, wine and shallots in a medium-sized saucepan. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes, until the shallots are tender and the liquid has reduced by two-thirds.


Place the shallots and the remaining liquid into a blender whilst still hot and blitz to a smooth paste. Blend in the squid ink and the cubed butter bit by bit, until the mixture thickens into a glossy sauce, then season.


For the vegetables:  Rinse the Jersey Royals then place them in a pan of lightly salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Rinse the radishes and halve or quarter them so they are roughly the same size. Toss the radishes in a large mixing bowl with the honey, olive oil, mustard, lemon juice and seasoning. Scatter on a baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.


Once the potatoes are cooked, add them to the tray of roasted radishes giving them a good coating in all the delicious cooking juices.


To cook the monkfish: Cooking the monkfish on the bone helps retain moisture and flavour and keeps it intact. Set a frying pan over a high heat with a tablespoon of oil. Season the monkfish with salt and pepper.


Add the monkfish to the pan and cook until lightly coloured on one side (approx. 2-3 minutes), then turn over and repeat. When the fish is nicely coloured on both sides add the butter to the pan; once it begins to foam baste the fish all over. Continue basting for approximately 5 minutes (depending on the size of the fish), then allow to rest for 2 minutes before serving.


Dress each plate with a generous tablespoon of sauce and the roasted vegetables. Lift the fish fillets off the bone and slice into equal portions. Scatter with thinly sliced raw radish to give a fresh crunch to the dish.

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