Nutmeg-Scented Sorrel Salad with Roasted Shallots and Monkfish

4 servings
  • 20 medium-sized shallots
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 2 cups sorrel leaves, thick ribs removed
  • 6 cups assorted greens, such as mache, Italian chicory, Bibb lettuce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 ounces monkfish, cut into 8 thin fillets
  • Flour for dredging
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the shallots, keeping the root ends intact. Place them in a bowl, and mix well with 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Make a bed of coarse salt in a roasting pan, and spread the shallots out in a single layer over the salt. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, basting with additional olive oil to prevent the outer layer of the shallots from toughening. The shallots are done when they're browned outside and just soft inside. Keep warm.

  • Rinse the sorrel and the greens. Dry well, and keep cool. Prepare the vinaigrette: Place the mustard in a bowl. Whisk in the vinegar. Add 1/2 cup of the olive oil slowly, in a thin stream. Add 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Lay out the monkfish fillets. Cut 1/4-inch notches all around the perimeter of each fillet. (This prevents the fillets from curling up in the pan.) Dredge the fillets well in flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Place the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, saute the monkfish quickly, about 1 minute per side, until golden brown and just cooked. Remove from pan, and brush each fillet very lightly with a bit of the vinaigrette.

  • Assemble the salad: Place the dried greens in a large bowl. Cut the warm shallots in half, lengthwise, and toss with the salad. Add the vinaigrette, and mix well. Divide the salad among four plates, and nestle two monkfish fillets into the salad on each plate. Grate about 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg over each salad.

  • Suggested wines: '93 Chablis; Sancerre Rouge; and/or an Alsatian Pinot Noir

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