Tuesday 16 January 2018

Monkfish with butternut squash fondant and sauce vierge

Monkfish with butternut squash fondant and sauce vierge
Monkfish with butternut squash fondant and sauce vierge

Lisa Faulkner actress and 2010 Celebrity champion. Preparation time: 35 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes. Serves four.


50g/1¾oz butter

300g/10oz butternut squash, cut into

rounds approx 1.5cm/½in thick

150ml/5fl oz fish stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

175g/6oz French beans

4 slices wafer-thin pancetta

4 monkfish fillets, approx 200g/7oz

each, skinned and cut into medallions

approx 2.5cm/1in thick

1 tbsp olive oil

Sprigs of basil, to garnish

For the sauce vierge

3 tomatoes on the vine, skinned,

deseeded and finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tbsps tarragon, chopped

2 tbsps basil, chopped

100ml/3½fl oz olive oil, plus extra

2 tsps lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Melt the butter in an ovenproof frying pan that is large enough to accommodate the butternut squash snugly. Add the squash and cook over a high heat for two minutes each side. Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper, and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.

For the sauce vierge, mix the tomatoes with the garlic and herbs, then moisten with olive oil and lemon juice. Season well. Blanch the French beans in boiling, salted water for three to four minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Pat dry, then separate into little bundles and wrap each with a slice of pancetta. Secure with a cocktail stick.

Place on a baking tray and put in the oven for about five minutes, or until the beans are heated through and the pancetta is crispy. Brush the monkfish with olive oil and season well. Heat a non-stick frying pan and cook the fish for three to four minutes each side, or until cooked through. Place the butternut squash on serving plates, arrange the monkfish around it and spoon the sauce vierge over and around. Place the beans on one side. Garnish with fresh basil.

What the judge said Gregg Wallace: “Lovely sauce vierge. The squash gives the monkfish an almost caramel softness. It is an utter delight. Absolutely brilliant.”

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