Roast Monkfish with Cumin and Coriander Spice and a Baked Eggplant Puree

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 10 hr (includes cooling and chilling times)
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: Serv2 servings
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2 large eggplants

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying

3 1/2 ounces double cream (see Cook's Note)

2 lemons, 1 zested, both juiced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Two 7-ounce monkfish fillets, skinned

Melted butter, for basting

3 1/2 ounces green olives, pitted

1 tablespoon capers, strained

6 salted anchovies

1 red chile

1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Celery leaves, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the eggplants over an open flame on the top of the stove, and burn the skins. When scalded all over, place the eggplants on a baking sheet, and bake until cooked, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the eggplants from the oven, and leave to cool.
  2. When the eggplants are cool, cut them down the middle and scoop out the creamy flesh, taking care not to pick up any of the toasted black skin. Using a sharp knife, chop the flesh until it forms a rough puree. Transfer to a sieve set over a large bowl, and leave to drain in the fridge overnight.
  3. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds, either in a dry frying pan set over a low heat or in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F, 8 to 10 minutes. When toasted, remove from the heat, and leave to cool. Blend the seeds in a spice grinder to form a powder. Pass through a fine sieve to remove any bigger pieces.
  4. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan, stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the toasted spice powder and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the drained eggplant; when hot, add the double cream, lemon zest, a splash of the lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Stir through, and set aside.
  5. Dust the monkfish fillets with the remaining spice mixture. Heat a splash of olive oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, and cook the fillets for 6 to 8 minutes, turning all the time so the spices don't burn. Remove the fillets from the pan, and baste with melted butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Set aside to rest.
  6. To make the dressing, finely chop the olives, capers, anchovies and red chile. Mix together in a large bowl with the 5 tablespoons olive oil, remaining lemon juice and chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. To serve, reheat the eggplant puree, if necessary, and place a spoonful on each plate. Slice the monkfish, and place on top with the dressing spooned over. Garnish with the celery leaves.

Cook’s Note

Double cream is the British term for cream with 48 percent butterfat. You can occasionally find it a specialty food stores. In the United States, heavy cream contains up to 40 percent butterfat.