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Monkfish Salsa Verde

By colm
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Monkfish salsa verde – Pan-roasted chunks of monkfish served with the classic, herb-infused, Italian green sauce.

monkfish salsa verde

It tastes fantastic and you can whirl it together in about 30 seconds. I like to dip big hunks of crusty fresh bread in it. I put it on pasta and burgers. I like to make a mint-infused version and spoon it over some simply boiled new season potatoes.

When I think about it, there’s nothing salsa verde doesn’t go with. Beef, duck, pork, or lamb…. and fish of course. It works well with any spice and it’s the perfect companion for Shellfish.

Steam some fresh mussels in your favourite white wine and add a heaped tablespoon. Or saute some shrimps and add as much fruity, herbal concoction as you like. The luminous green sauce clings to the shellfish coating it with intense flavour and making it shine.

You can probably tell I’ve been making a lot of salsa verde lately. Ever since I started this blog I always seem to have an overabundance of herbs that need using up, and salsa verde is a great way to do it ( I got tired of making pesto)

pasta with salsa verde

You don’t even really need a recipe for it, there are tons in cookbooks and online already. I’ve given the one I used here below. Some recipes call for anchovies, garlic, gherkins, or lemon juice, and by all means, add them if they’re to your taste.

The one I made here is a more stripped-down version. What you will need are capers, a good dollop of Dijon, and the fruitiest extra virgin olive oil that you’ve got in your kitchen. The Dijon mustard gives it a creamy texture, the red wine vinegar makes it sing, while the capers give it its saltiness, and you can use any herbs you’ve got hanging around the kitchen.

monkfish salsa verde

The coolest thing about salsa verde is that you can customise it to go with what your eating. Use a bit of tarragon if it’s beef or chicken, add some basil if it’s sea bass, and a few sprigs of rosemary if it’s lamb. You get the idea…coriander, chives, or parsley, any green herb you fancy. Plus it will keep in the fridge for over a week if you’ve any leftovers.

In Italy they’d have you making salsa verde with a mortar and pestle, purists would say you’ve got to chop everything by hand, but who’s got the time? Just put everything in your food processor and give it a quick whizz for a minute, job done!

If you’ve got one of those immersion stick blenders then use that to make it. It seems to whirl it up into a finer more velvety texture if you don’t want to go for the more rustic look. Plus it’s easier to clean.

monkfish salsa verde

Today I’ve teamed up my salsa verde with some beautiful monkfish that my fishmonger said was fresh off the boat this morning, so fresh It nearly jumped into my shopping basket.

Salsa verde gives a lift to just about anything, but spooning it over some big chunks of caramelised sweet-tasting monkfish is definitely top of my list of ways to devour it.

What will you have with your salsa verde?

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monkfish salsa verde

Monkfish Salsa Verde

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4



for the salsa verde

  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 50g / 2oz parsley
  • 75g / 3oz basil
  • 75g / 3oz chives
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers
  • 250 ml / 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

for the monkfish

  • 600g / 1lb 5oz monkfish tail (skinned and membrane removed)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (for frying the monkfish)


  1. To make your salsa verde put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds till everything is chopped up finely.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady trickle while the motor still running till your salsa verde forms a thick green paste.
  3. Cut your monkfish tail into large 1 inch chunks allowing about 3 per person and season with a little salt.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large pan till nearly smoking. Gently add the monkfish chunks to the pan and sear for about 2 minutes until caramelized and golden brown. Turn the monkfish over and cook on the other side for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the monkfish from the pan and drain well on kitchen paper.
  6. Divide the monkfish between four plates, spoon over a generous helping of the salsa verde, and serve with some crusty bread or pasta.

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