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Updated: Feb 6


George Upshall is a family friend and superb chef serving delicious plates to the lucky diners of Wild Flor on the south coast of England. George says: “Monkfish is best treated like a piece of meat when it comes to cooking, roasted on the bone then rested well. Choose small firm courgettes for a salad which stands up well to the richness of the almonds and the sweet, salty clams. Best enjoyed in the late summer months.” INGREDIENTS 4 small monkfish tails around 400g each, or a 1.5kg fillet

400g live clams, washed

50g unsalted butter

For the almond pesto

100g smoked almonds

1 clove of garlic

1 sprig of thyme

For the almond sauce

100g smoked almonds

200ml almond milk or whole cow’s milk

For the courgette salad

4 small courgettes

Sea salt

½ a lemon

1 sprig of lemon verbena METHOD

For the almond pesto

Lightly toast the smoked almonds in a dry pan for a few minutes. Cool then roughly chop the almonds and finely chop the garlic and thyme. Combine them with the oil, then add salt to taste.

For the almond sauce

Blend the ingredients together, then leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Wrap the mixture in a piece of muslin cloth and squeeze over a bowl, extracting as much liquid as possible. The almonds left in the cloth can be added to the pesto.

For the courgette salad

Finely slice the courgettes then season with a little salt, a good squeeze of lemon juice and some finely chopped lemon verbena.

To cook the fish, heat the butter in a non stick frying pan until it begins to foam, season the monkfish with salt and carefully place in the pan. Baste the fish in the butter as it cooks. Once you have a nice colour on one side, flip the fish over and reduce the heat a little. Continue to baste in the butter, which should now be a nut brown colour. The fish is done when a skewer inserted close to the bone at the thickest part comes out with very little resistance. Remove the fish from the pan and leave to rest. Put the same pan back on a high heat, then add the clams and cover with a lid. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until the clams pop open. Remove the clams with a slotted spoon, then reduce the juices by half, turn off the heat and pour in your almond sauce.

To serve

Arrange the courgette salad on your plates, carve the rested monkfish (if using one piece) and place a portion on each. Surround with the clams and finish the dish with a spoonful of pesto and almond sauce.

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