Baked Monkfish with Lemon, Rosemary and Mustard

Monkfish, sometimes referred to as the poor man’s lobster, is a white-fleshed fish that’s meaty and versatile. This baking method makes it easy. To prepare the fish, know that the tail of the monkfish, which is all we really eat, is covered in a thin grey membrane. Tug at it and while pulling away, cut off the membrane with a sharp knife. Remove as much of it as possible but don’t worry about it too much. Thanks for the tip, Mark Bittman! And while the oven is on, you might as well halve some sweet cherry tomatoes and toss them onto a baking sheet for dinner, too.

Ingredients (serves 3 or 4)

1 to 1 1/2 pounds monkfish, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lemon
3/4 teaspoon mustard, preferably coarse or whole grain
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


Heat oven to 400ºF.

Remove the zest from a lemon in thick strips using a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Slice the zest into small, long strips (or use a zester that looks like this to do it in one step). Combine the zest in a small bowl with mustard, rosemary, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and salt.

In a baking dish, toss the fish with the mustard mixture. Drizzle with another 1 teaspoon olive oil or so. Toss again, making sure the fish is evenly coated. Cover top of the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in the center of the oven until the fish is opaque and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

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