Photography by Nathalie Carnet.
This Italian recipe is one of my favorites. It’s as quick to make whether you’re cooking for four or for ten, and is full of flavor, is pretty to look at (the meaning of “carina” in Italian), and is always a hit. Monkfish is ideal because even after the backbone has been removed, its firm flesh holds its shape when cut into thin slices. I’ll share a little secret with you: if you ask your fishmonger nicely, he’ll prepare the fish for you in minutes. Otherwise, with the help of a good knife, it’s easy to do.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Rinse the monkfish, remove any skin, dry on paper towels, and cut into ten slices. Place the flour in a shallow dish and coat the fish with it, shaking off any excess. Wash and roughly chop the cherry tomatoes.
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat. Add the monkfish slices in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches) and cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden. As they turn golden, remove the fish slices with a skimmer and transfer to a plate.
4. Pour the oil out of the skillet and wipe it clean. Return it to high heat, add the butter, the remaining olive oil, cherry tomatoes, and parsley, reserving a little of the parsley for garnish. Cook for 30 seconds, stir in the strained tomatoes, cornichons, capers (if using), Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer, add the monkfish, and heat through.
5. Scatter over the reserved parsley and serve at once. So delicious, so carina!
Excerpted from Enjoy: Recipes for Memorable Gatherings by Perla Servan-Schreiber, Flammarion, 2020. Photography by Nathalie Carnet.