A healthy, French-inspired dinner by celebrity chef James Martin.


  • For the lentils

  • 50g butter

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced

  • 200g lardons, diced

  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped

  • ½  fennel, finely chopped

  • 1 leek, finely chopped

  • 1 parsnip, chopped

  • 300g Puy lentils

  • 175ml red wine

  • 450ml dark chicken stock

  • 2 tbsp good sherry vinegar

  • For the roasted monkfish tail

  • 1.5kg monkfish tails, trimmed, skinned and left on the bone

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 lemon, halved and sliced

  • 8 sprigs Thyme

  • Small bunch of parsley


  • 1.

    For the classic French lentils, heat a sauté pan or a large frying pan and then add the butter. Once hot, add the onion and cook for two minutes. Then add the garlic, diced lardons, carrot, celery,leeks,  parsnip and fennel and cook for a further two minutes.

  • 2.

    Add the lentils and red wine and bring to the boil. Cook until the volume of wine has reduced by half, then add the stock and cook the lentils for 15 minutes. Mix in the sherry vinegar and parsley, and season.

  • 3.

    For the monkfish, season the monkfish with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cut either side of the bone to make a pocket, fill the bone with lemon slices, thyme and parsley sprigs. Tie a string around the circumference 4 to 5 times and season.

  • 4.

    Heat a frying pan until smoking, add the butter and monkfish and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and the fish is cooked through. Roast at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes. Remove from the pan and rest on a warm plate for 2-3 minutes.

  • 5.

    To serve, squeeze over the lemon and place the lentils in a large shallow serving bowl. Place the monkfish on top.

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