Monkfish with pickled cauliflower

Monk fish or stargazer is a moist, fleshy, white fish often referred to as being similar to lobster.  The fish is seasoned with Baharat which is available at Middle Eastern grocers and provides a real earthy taste.  The pickle provides a clean fresh tasting acid that replaces the traditional lemon.

For the Monkfish

160 gm      Monkfish, fillet




For the pickled cauliflower

100 gm        Cauliflower florets, blanched

20 gm           Pancetta, cut in to matchsticks and sautéed till crisp

5 gm              Capers, washed


2                     Slices of ginger

400 ml         Japanese rice vinegar

For the lemon and thyme pistou

1                   Lemon zest, finely grated

1                   Garlic clove, finely grated

3                   Thyme sprigs, leaves only



Bring vinegar and ginger to the boil in a small pot, allow to cool to room temperature.  Remove the ginger then pour over cauliflower in a vacuum pouch, seal on a medium setting and refrigerate over night.

In a mortar and pestle pound lemon zest and garlic with salt, add thyme leaves and bruise lightly, add just enough EVOO to make a thick paste.

Season the monkfish with baharat and salt.   Vacuum pack with a sprig of thyme and Evoo.  Place in 58°C water bath for 12 minutes from room temperature.  Remove the fish from the bag and place in a hot oven or under the grill for 5 minutes, rest in a warm place.

To assemble, drain cauliflower toss with parsley, pancetta a pinch of salt and a dash of EVOO.  Arrange cauliflower on plate and top with monkfish.