Roast Monkfish on Moules à la Marinière

Anthony Worrall Thompson adds irresistible flavour to tender monkfish by threading it with French beans, peppers and anchovies
By Antony Worrall Thompson
Roast Monkfish on Moules à la Marinière
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 kg small live mussels
  • 1 red pepper
  • black pepper
  • 16 French beans
  • 4 monkfish medallions (175g each)
  • 12 tinned anchovy fillets, halved lengthways
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 210 ml dry white wine
  • pinch of strands saffron
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 115 g unsalted butter
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 450 g leeks, shredded
  • chopped chives, to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 200úC/gas 6. Scrub the mussels well under running water, discarding any that do not close when tapped with a knife. Remove the beards with the knife, then set aside.

2. Place the red pepper in an ovenproof dish and roast in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the skin blackens and blisters. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the French beans and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the beans, refresh in cold water and set aside.

3. Remove the roast pepper from the oven, leaving the oven on. Place in a bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside for 5 minutes, then skin, deseed and slice the flesh into sixteen strips.

4. Using a larding needle, thread each monkfish medallion with four French beans, four strips of roast pepper and three strips of anchovy and set aside.

5. Place the garlic, shallots, ½ teaspoon pepper, 150ml of the white wine and the saffron strands in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then add the mussels. Cover and cook over a fierce heat for about 5 minutes, until the mussels have opened.

6. Remove the mussels with a perforated spoon and discard any that have not opened.

7. Strain the cooking juices into a separate saucepan, return to the boil, then add the parsley and 25g of the butter. Boil vigorously until the juices have reduced by half, then add the cream and continue cooking until reduced again by a third.

8. Meanwhile, remove the mussels from their shells and set aside. Place the shredded leeks in a small saucepan with the remaining butter and white wine and cook over a medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes, or until wilted. Keep warm.

9. Taste the cream sauce and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Add the shelled mussels to the sauce to warm through.

10. Place the monkfish medallions in an ovenproof frying pan and cook over a high heat for 2-3 minutes to seal, then transfer to the oven and roast for 5 minutes.

11. Make a 'nest' of leeks in the middle of each of four warmed serving plates. Remove the monkfish from the oven and place one medallion on top of each nest of leeks. Spoon the mussels and sauce around the monkfish, garnish with chopped chives and serve.

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