Monkfish with sage and Savoy cabbage

Monkfish with sage and Savoy cabbage

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
4 pieces monkfish, each about 170 g
4 slices parma ham
1 banana shallot
1/2 savoy cabbage
1 small granny smith apple
1 small carrot
1/4 bunch sage
3 tablespoons olive oil
150ml white wine
150ml Brown chicken and veal stock
20-30g unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the monkfish by carefully removing the outer, opaque membrane. Much of it can be pulled off, then use a very sharp knife to finish. Remove the discoloured brown flesh beneath this membrane, but take care not to cut into the white flesh.
  2. Wrap each piece of monkfish in a Parma ham slice, leaving the ends open, and refrigerate. Heat the oven to 150ºC.
  3. Halve, peel and finely slice the shallot. Strip out the central hard white core from the cabbage, discard the outer leaves and very finely slice the inner leaves. Peel, core and slice the apple into julienne. Peel and finely dice the carrot, blanch in boiling water for 10 seconds, then refresh in cold water and drain. Chiffonade enough sage leaves to give you ½–1 tablespoon.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat and add the shallot. Sweat for 3–4 minutes until softening, then add the cabbage and apple, turn through to coat with oil and sauté gently for 4–5 minutes until starting to soften. Season with salt and pepper, then tip out into a bowl and keep warm.
  5. Wipe out the frying pan and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over a medium heat. Season the monkfish parcels with pepper and place join side down in the hot oil, to seal the join. Fry until the Parma ham is becoming brown and crisp, turning as each side crisps.
  6. When the ham is crisp all the way round, transfer the fish parcels to a roasting tin and finish cooking in the oven for 5–8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  7. Meanwhile, deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce by half, then add the carrot and simmer gently until the wine has reduced to 2 teaspoons. Add the stock and simmer for 2–3 minutes until the flavours have developed. Whisk the butter into the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then remove from the heat.
  8. Remove the monkfish from the oven and pour any pan juices into the sauce. Divide the cabbage between 4 plates and spoon a little of the sauce over the cabbage. Place the monkfish on top.


  • If the Parma ham is in danger of unwrapping itself from the monkfish, you can secure it with a cocktail stick, removing the cocktail stick to serve.


  • Cod, haddock or any firm white fish can be substituted for the monkfish and you can replace the Savoy cabbage with finely shredded Brussels sprouts.
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