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Pancetta Monkfish with Puy Lentils & Hispi Cabbage
April 2022
Reading time 1 Minute

Monkfish combined with pancetta, braised Puy lentils and buttery hispi cabbage makes for a very special dinner with minimal effort

This foolproof recipe is exactly what you need.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150g Puy lentils
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, plus extra to garnish1 bay leaf
  • 370ml vegetable stock
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 4 skinless monkfish fillets
  • 8 slices of pancetta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 40g butter
  • 1 large hispi cabbage, cut into 4 wedges lengthways
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the grill to medium–high. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add the onion, celery and carrot along with a pinch of salt. Fry gently for five minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes. Then add the lentils, thyme and bay leaf and stir them around the pan, frying for another minute and making sure they are well coated in all the oil and vegetables. Pour in the stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking for 15–20 minutes until the lentils are just tender but still have a little bite. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, prepare the monkfish. Place one sage leaf on each monkfish fillet and then wrap each with two slices of pancetta. Place the wrapped fillets onto a baking sheet and drizzle with some olive oil and cracked black pepper. Place under the grill for five–10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and the pancetta is lovely and crispy. 
  3. Prepare the hispi cabbage: place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter. Once it has melted and is foaming, add the cabbage wedges cut-side down. Allow them to cook for a few minutes on each side so they char and turn lovely and golden. Turn the cabbage in the pan so it cooks evenly on all sides. Remove from the pan and season well with salt and pepper. 
  4. Place the monkfish fillets on a bed of the steaming, aromatic lentils. Add a wedge of buttery hispi cabbage on the side and sprinkle over some thyme sprigs.
Foolproof Fish by Libby Silbermann (Quadrille, £12.99) Photography ©Rita Platts
Foolproof Fish by Libby Silbermann (Quadrille, £12.99) Photography ©Rita Platts Foolproof Fish by Libby Silbermann (Quadrille, £12.99) Photography ©Rita Platts

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