There are no frills in monkfish tagine

The stew celebrates autumn with its warm spices and gorgeous tones of green and gold. Slow-cooked, the firm fish retains its shape well and is a great match for sweet and sour flavors. Toast some blanched almonds and then chop them to sprinkle over top. If you don’t have an apple or prunes, you can try using a pear or raisins instead.


1 large chopped onion

Finely chop 3 cloves of garlic

60g unsalted butter

Large quantities of freshly chopped coriander stalks, stalks, and leaves

2 tsp ground ginger

Add a pinch of saffron

1 cinnamon stick

1½ preserved lemons (about 35g), flesh discarded, finely chopped

100ml fish stock

1. Apple, roughly 1.5cm in diameter, peeled, cored, and chopped into smaller pieces

Drained chickpeas in 400g containers

About 40g of prunes

250g of chard/spinach (baby or large leaf spinach are acceptable, but best), washed then chopped

600g monkfish fillet cut in 6cm pieces

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve, bread or couscous

  • Turn the oven on to 220C/fan/00C/gas 7. Place the garlic and onion in a large roasting pan. Spread the butter over them and bake for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally until they are tender and golden around the edges.
  • The roasting tin should be removed from the oven. Mix in the cinnamon stick, ginger, garlic, and saffron. For 3 minutes more, return to oven. Then, remove the roasting tin from the oven and add the preserve lemons stock, apple, chickpeas, prunes, and stock. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • The roasting pan should be removed from the oven. Stir in the spinach, chard and monkfish and then wrap with foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/fan160C/gas 4 and return the tin to the oven for a final 10–12 minutes. When it’s ready, the chard or spinach will have wilted and made the tagine nice and saucy, and the fish should be opaque. Toast or serve with buttery couscous.

A GOOD CHOICE ALSO Any firm white fish, such as haddock, cod, pollock or hake.