Monkfish with a Puree of Beans

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 20m

Serves 4

The rana pescatrice, monkfish or anglerfish, is not a particularly attractive looking fish with its very large head. However, despite this, it has a very good flavor: Only the tail is eaten. It is almost boneless, and its flesh is white and soft, rather like lobster in taste and texture.

In Ligurian homes, use of the mortar is not limited to the making of pesto. It is also used for other sauces and, the sauce in this recipe, based on fava (broad) beans, is an example that marries perfectly with a plain, broiled (grilled) fish. The dish is characteristic of western Liguria, la Liguria di Ponente, between Genoa and the French border. It is make only in late spring when the first fava beans from the kitchen gardens appear in the markets.


  • 7 ounces fava beans, shelled
  • 2 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 1 green beet leaf, trimmed
  • Salt
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four 6-8-ounce monkfish fillets
  • Tomatoes, for garnish


Skin the fava beans. Blanch the fava beans, green beans and beet leaf in salted water for 2 minutes. Pound the vegetables in a mortar or put through a food mill or blender, adding the oil in a thin stream and beating the sauce as for a mayonnaise. Taste and season with salt if necessary.

Broil or grill the fish fillets until just cooked through.

Spread the bean puree in the center of 4 heated serving plates. Place a monkfish fillet in the center of each and garnish with a tomato.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 986

nutrition information per serving

679 calories; 57g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 605mg sodium; 30g carbohydrates; 13g fiber; 13g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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