Sauteed Monk Cheeks with Salsa Verde, Asparagus and Broad Bean Salad

Sauteed Monk Cheeks with Salsa Verde, Asparagus and Broad Bean Salad
Fishboxer Fishbox HQ from Muir of Ord


1/2kg monkfish cheeks
2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
Oil for shallow frying

Salsa verde
5 or 6 tinned anchovy fillets
1 tsp drained capers
A good handful of basil leaves
A good handful of flat leaf parsley
1 clove of crushed garlic
Approx 1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground pepper

250g asparagus
195g broad beans
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
100g walnuts, coarsely chopped
45ml balsamic vinegar
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard


• Preheat your oven to around 180°C.
• Place the balsamic vinegar over a medium heat and reduce by half (this intensifies the flavour and means less oil is required to make the dressing).
• Prepare the salsa verde by coarsely chopping the parsley and basil.
• Place the chopped herbs in a food processor and add the garlic, capers and anchovies (if you don’t have a food processor finely chopped these ingredients, then place in a bowl).
• Add the lemon juice and mustard and, whilst whisking, drizzle in the olive oil until a thick, shiny sauce forms. If using a food processor, be careful not to overdo it!
• Trim the ends from the asparagus spears and cut stems into thirds.
• Place the asparagus in a large pan of salted, boiling water and cook until it is just tender.
• Drain and refresh the spears in cold water to stop them cooking further.
• Place the tomatoes onto a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
• Bake in the oven for approximately 8 minutes, until just soft.
• Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the broad beans for approximately 2 minutes, until they are just turn tender.
• Drain and refresh the broad beans with cold water to prevent further cooking.
• In dry-fry the walnuts in a heavy-based pan for 2 minutes, then set aside.
• Add the Dijon mustard to the cooled, reduced vinegar and whisk in sufficient olive oil to create a smooth vinaigrette.
• Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and add oil for shallow frying.
• Fry the garlic cloves for a few minutes so that the oil becomes flavoured. Do not let the garlic burn as this will make the oil bitter.
• Remove the garlic cloves.
• Add the monk cheeks to the garlic oil and fry (in batches if necessary) until they are slightly golden on each side and just cooked on the inside. As the cheek meat is not too thick, this should only take a few minutes.
• Cover the fried monk cheeks with foil and keep warm while the salad is assembled.
• In a bowl combine the asparagus, broad beans and walnuts, pour over 3/4 of the vinaigrette and toss.
• Divide the salad between each of the serving plates and place the roasted tomatoes on top, drizzling these with the remaining dressing.
• Place a portion of the monk cheeks on each serving plate and spoon a generous serving of the salsa verde next to them.