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Reddened Monkfish Salad

Ensalada de Rape Rojo

Francisco Muñoz Muñoz cooks at Jarandilla Parador in the heart of La Vera's red-pepper country. Here, sitting in the lovely patio where the birds chirp out a loud chorus, he ran through all the local ways of cooking with pimentón: shepherds migas, or fried bread crumbs, sopas canas, a milky winter garlic soup, marinated baked tench and caldereta. But he also came up with this recipe, which suggests pimentón's virtually unexplored potential in modern cooking.

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 35 min.[PT35M]

Cook Time: 15 min.[PT15M]

Ingredients:

14 oz monkfish fillet
3 tbsp sweet smoked paprika (pimentón)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups seasoned fish stock
Small extra pinch of sweet smoked pimentón, optional
Salt
For the salad:
A mixture of curly endive and chicory leaves (or other seasonal salad greens: for example, watercress, crispy lettuce, rocket)
3 tbsp fruity extra virgin olive oil
1/2-1 tbsp lemon juice, to taste

Preparation:

Prepare the fish 1-2 hours before serving: remove the membrane, but leave the fillet in one piece. Mix the pimentón and oil and spread it all over the fish, rubbing it in well.

Bring the stock to a steady simmering boil in a pan large enough to hold the fish. Season the monkfish with salt, tie it up in a piece of boiling muslin to keep it in shape, lower it into the stock and cook for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

Wash and trim the salad leaves and make a bed of them on a serving dish.

Slice the fish finely with a very sharp knife and lay the slices, overlapping, in a row or circle on the salad leaves. Moisten with the olive oil and lemon juice and, if you wish, sprinkle with a small pinch of sweet pimentón.

By Francisco Muñoz Muñoz
Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.

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