Tom Kerridge's Spiced Monkfish and Aubergine Purée with Green Olive Dressing Recipe

(731 ratings)

roasted monkfish with cumin and baked aubergine puree photo
roasted monkfish with cumin and baked aubergine puree photo
(Image credit: Cristian Barnett, Proper Pub Food)

Tom Kerridge is one of our favourite celebrity chefs for packing in plenty of flavour to simple recipes and this fish dish is no different. Using aubergine is a little unusual with fish, but trust us - it really works. It's a great idea for a Valentine's Day recipe, or a dish for a meal you want to be really special.


Taken from Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food (£20; Absolute Press)


  • 2 large aubergines
  • 2tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2tbsp coriander seeds
  • Olive oil
  • 100ml double cream
  • finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 monkfish fillets, about 220g each, skinned and the thin grey membrane rubbed off
  • butter, for cooking
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • celery leaves

For the green olive dressing:

  • 100g green olives, stoned and chopped
  • 6 salted anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained
  • 1 fresh red chilli, chopped – with seeds and all
  • 75ml extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsely leaves


  1. A day in advance, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4

  2. Use a blow torch or a gas flame on the hob to char the aubergine skins all over. When they are charred, put them in a roasting tray, place the tray in the oven and roast them for 35–45 minutes until they are very soft. Take the aubergines out of the oven and leave to cool. Do not turn the oven off

  3. Mix the cumin and coriander seeds together in a roasting tray. Place the tray in the oven and toast the seeds, taking the tray out once or twice and stirring, for 8–10 minutes until they are aromatic. Immediately remove the seeds from the tray and leave to one side until needed the next day

  4. When the aubergines are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh, avoiding any of the charred skin. Chop the flesh until it forms a rough purée. Scrape the purée into a colander over a bowl and leave it to drain overnight

  5. The next day, put the cumin and coriander into a spice grinder and grid to form a powder, then pass through a fine sieve to remove any bigger pieces

  6. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add 11/2 tablespoons of the toasted spice powder and fry, stirring, for 2–3 minutes

  7. Add the drained aubergine purée and stir until it is warmed through. Add the double cream and lemon zest and juice and season. Cover with foil and keep hot until needed. Or you can leave this to cool and reheat it gently just before serving. It will keep for 2–3 days in a covered container in the fridge

  8. Dust the monkfish fillets in the remaining spice mix

  9. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil and some butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat

  10. Add the monkfish and fry, turning the fillets all the time so the spices don’t burn, for 6–8 minutes until cooked through and the flesh flakes easily. Remove them from the pan and baste in the warm butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Leave to rest, as though they were pieces of meat

  11. While the monkfish is resting, make the green olive dressing. Mix the green olives, anchovies, capers and red chilli together in a non-metallic bowl. Stir in the olive oil, the rest of the lemon juice and parsley and season, although it might not need much seasoning because there are lots of bold flavours here

  12. To serve, reheat the aubergine purée, if necessary

  13. Place a spoonful of the purée on each plate. Slice the monkfish and place on top of the purée, then spoon the green olive dressing over the top, garnish with celery leaves and serve immediately