Friday, January 14, 2011

Roasted Monkfish with Pink Grapefruit & Fennel Salsa

Roasted Monkfish with Pink Grapefruit & Fennel Salsa 1

I apologise outright for the brevity of this post (I know some of you might think that's a good thing), but the need to keep this brief has just dawned on me.  You see normally on the weekends I spend a fair bit of time here in "blogland", churning out a few posts, dabbling in the kitchen without the normal time constraints and pressures of the busy week.

This weekend, however, is going to be different - I am off to Auckland tomorrow for my nephew's wedding.  I've got to tell you that I'm pretty excited about that - a wedding is always a special occasion - but a wedding in the family seems to take on an extra degree of "specialness" (I know that probably isn't a proper word, but I'm sticking to it).  Can't remember the last time we had a wedding in the family - maybe it was one of mine, but perhaps its best we don't go down that road just now.  Anyway, there is something so "hopeful" about the family coming together for such an occasion - friends and family (on both sides begin to gather from all over the country) looking forward with great anticipation to this special day.

So I have been making my own preparations for this occasion:  book plane ticket (tick - did that several weeks ago);  arrange accommodation (tick - get to stay the weekend with my brother and hang out with him and his "soon to be wife" - yes we have another wedding in a month's time);  can't wear yoga clothes to a wedding, so get a new dress (tick - lunch and shopping spree with girlfriend last weekend - highly successful);  get shoes to go with new dress (tick - got lucky with a shoe sale on the way to the supermarket yesterday);  get wedding present - completely torn - they have a wedding register set up at a well known local store or a fund set up at the travel agent for their honeymoon - wedding registers always make me want to go outside of the box, but then the travel fund seems like a good idea - still no idea what to do but will have to make a decision and act today;  as I will be out of internet action for three days, get all essential blog posts (including next week's "Make it with ... Mondays" post) set up for publication by tonight - yikes, how did I not see that coming?!

So, with much to do between now and the time I fly out tomorrow, brief this post must be - though it does appear that, having just explained all that to you, my attempt at brevity has been somewhat lost. Anyways, this is my contribution for the week to I Heart Cooking Clubs, where we are cooking with Giada de Laurentiis, and our theme for the week is "Let's Get Roasted".  I had a browse through Giada's Kitchen looking for inspiration - roast beef didn't particularly appeal (not one of my favourites) and, although the roasted pork loin with roasted garlic vinaigrette appealed a lot (you know after all how I feel about a bit of pork), I decided against it since I am on my own right now (I've mentioned before that my partner is in India for a couple of months - read more about his journey on his blog, Arunachala Kiwi).  In the end, I settled on this recipe for Roasted Halibut with Grapefruit Fennel Salsa - a piece of fish, simply prepared, with a fresh, simple, tangy, crunchy salad makes a perfect dinner for one.  I'm pretty sure we don't actually get halibut in New Zealand, so I used monkfish instead, but any firm-fleshed white fish would do.  I also reduced the original quantity of the salad - as I didn't make any other vegetables or sides this was a perfect quantity for one person, but with some other vegetables would be just right for two.

Roasted Monkfish with Pink Grapefruit & Fennel Salsa
Adapted from recipe in Giada's Kitchen
2 servings
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

2 pieces of firm-fleshed white fish
flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

1 pink-fleshed grapefruit
1 small (or 1/2 large) fennel bulb
handful of black olives
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
red pepper flakes
flaky sea salt

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F).

Place a sheet of parchment paper in the base of a roasting dish, placing the fish on top of the paper.  Drizzle with a hint of olive oil, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and a good grinding of black pepper.  Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes - this will depend on the thickness of the fish.  While the fish is cooking prepare the salsa. 

Using a zester grate a little of the zest from the grapefruit (about 1/2 teaspoon will be enough) into a medium-sized bowl.  Cut all the peel and pith away from the grapefruit.  Then hold the grapefruit over the bowl containing the zest, and using a sharp knife cut down in between each of the fruit segments and the membranes and let the grapefruit segments fall into the bowl as each one is removed.  Once all the fruit has been removed, squeeze the membrane over the bowl to extract all the juice.

Cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise, slice it as thinly as possible, and add the fennel to the bowl containing the grapefruit.  Place the olives on a chopping board;  using the bottom of a glass or cup, press on each one to split the olive and prise out the stone.  Chop the olives roughly and add to the fennel and grapefruit.  Add the extra virgin olive oil, chopped parsley, sprinkling of flaky sea salt and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.  Taste and adjust any of these seasonings as necessary.

Roasted Monkfish with Pink Grapefruit & Fennel Salsa 2

As soon as the fish is cooked, transfer it to a serving plate, add the grapefruit and fennel salsa and serve immediately.

Verdict:  will definitely make again - fresh, healthy, plenty of flavour, quick and easy to prepare - what more could you want.

Interested in getting to know Giada a bit better?  Then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all been cooking up ....


.... or check out Giada's Kitchen and many of her other titles, available from Amazon, Book Depository UK and Fishpond NZ

Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites    Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California    Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes

P.S. Thanks to all those of you who have linked up so far to "Make it with ... Mondays".  There is still time to link up for both challenge saffron (closes Monday 17 January) and challenge vanilla (closes Monday 24 January).  I'd love you to join in if you haven't already done so, and keep watching for next week's special "Make it with ... Mondays" ingredient - we'll be making it with quinoa.


  1. I am so with you on weddings - I love them! It sounds like you're going to have a great time at yours. I just commented to my husband how much fun blogging is and getting the opportunity to connect with like minded people from all over the world.
    I have made this Giada recipe and liked it. It's fresh and unexpected.
    Here's wishing you an absolutely fabulous time!

  2. Thank you so much Lyndsay - I'm really looking forward to the weekend, getting together with family and making some new relatives in a way. You are so right about the wonderful connections we make through food blogging - it is very heart-warming :-)

    Glad you enjoyed this dish - I'm definitely making it again.

    Sue xo

  3. Sue, you always make such interesting food! Enjoy your time away, it is just as important as time here (maybe more, family changes daily). See you when you get back!

  4. Have a super time. My son is getting married this year..but in Montreal where is fiancee's parents live. Not possible for me to travel so they are discussing having a small wedding here before the fly out.

  5. Thank you so much Melynda for your kindness - back in a few days :-)

    Hi Barbara - thanks. Oh I do home you get to have a small wedding with your son & his fiancee before they go away - that would be very special :-)

    Sue xo

  6. Oh have fun!! I love weddings, even if there is lots to be done! I vote for travel fund.

  7. Have a great time! Sounds wonderful and I agree, all the family connections you'll be able to see the way, your dish reminds me of a summery one and I realized, you aren't in the thick of winter!

  8. Have a great trip!! The salad looks like a dish I would love completely :). Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  9. What a fresh and lovely dish! So flavourful and healthy too.
    Have a wonderful time at the wedding. xo

  10. Have a good time! Weddings are always special! The salad looks lovely, love all the ingredients. See you when you get back!

  11. I love the texture of monkfish. It's so buttery!The fennel salsa sounds like a great accompaniement.
    I see that you're into yoga. I'm a beginner but I'm loving it.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Weddings are the best! Have fun and eat some good wedding cake for all of us!

    I've never cooked monkfish before but I love the sound of that grapefruit salsa. Mmm grapefruit.

  13. have fun and monkfish is just awesome i have never tried it and i usually adore the salads you make )

  14. Have fun at the wedding! ;-) I have had this dish marked thinking I would try it with a local fish someday. The salsa looks so refreshing--such a pretty dish too.

  15. Lovely Dish as always!

    Not sure if you know, but anyone buying 'Giada's Kitchen' from the book depository can get a 10% discount by using the codes on their facebook page:

  16. What a great fish recipe; I love the addition of the fruit salsa! Hope the wedding was beautiful and that you had a great time! So much more fun to be a guest than to be the one giving or being in the wedding!

  17. This is a beautiful recipe and the pictures are terrific. I don't mean to be preachy, I would consider making this dish with a different fish because (though many are unaware of it) monkfish is not a sustainable type of seafood. Which is shame because its so delicious. GREG

  18. Thanks everyone for your visits and your lovely comments.

    Tina - yes we are in the midst of summer right now - wish it could stay like this for another 6 months!

    Nisrine - hope you continue to enjoy your yoga and get the opportunity to develop a lovely practice.

    Thanks Joanne - the wedding cake was beautiful :-)

    Thanks Deb - hope you give it a try - I'm sure you'd love it.

    Thanks Breda - thanks for letting me know about the Book Depository facebook page.

    Thanks so much Greg - I do try to make good choices about the fish I eat these days (don't eat tuna any more), and my preferred choice these days is usually a local fish called wharehou, but I didn't know about monkfish. Thanks for letting me know - one more off the list :-(

    Sue :-)

  19. Sue - Sorry I'm so late in commenting. You made a beautiful choice with this dish. It's so light and refreshing, not to mention how beautiful it is on the plate. I hope you will have a wonderful time at the wedding.


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