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Recipe from the Midlife Kitchen: Monkfish and Fennel with herbs, tomatoes and anchovies

monkfish and fennel recipe

The Midlife Kitchen cookbook   by Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice offers 160 recipes all aimed to help boost midlife health, and all using accessible ingredients. The recipes aim to restore, rejuvenate and revive.   I’m looking to try out some of the recipes myself over the coming weeks – I might even try on video – if I’m brave enough to give cooking, talking and filming at the same time another go!

Here is one of the recipes – just to get started – it looks delicious – and really easy to make

Monkfish and Fennel with herbs, tomatoes, and anchovies

(page 154 in the book)


We’re forever on the hunt for speedy suppers that are just a bit special – and this fits the bill perfectly. It’s one of those dishes that tastes as though it’s been hours in the making, but in fact the prep couldn’t be easier, and most of the ingredients (bar the fish) are probably already lurking in your fridge. Simply add a sturdy white fish – we’ve used monkfish here, but halibut would be equally delicious – or calamari and king prawns, and eat with a warm wholemeal pitta to mop up the densely savoury juices. Very little could improve it, but Sam says a glass of chilled Sancerre works a treat.



2 tsp olive oil

1/2 a fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced

4 ripe tomatoes, quartered

4 anchovy fillets, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

250g monkfish fillet or tail, membrane removed and cut into 3cm-thick medallions

a handful of Greek olives, pitted and chopped

a handful of coriander leaves, chopped

a handful of basil leaves

a handful of dill, chopped


Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan, add thefennel and sauté for several minutes until softened, then add the tomatoes and anchovies. Season and simmer for 10–15 minutes until the tomatoes start to soften (see Midlife Hack below).

Add the monkfish medallions and olives, cover with a lid and simmer for a further 5–10 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Stir through the herbs and serve.

Midlife Hack: You can cook the recipe to this point, then cool and refrigerate until required.

Health Tip

Every ingredient in this dish is a Midlife winner, but the real superstar is fennel. Its phytonutrients help maintain healthy bones, decrease blood pressure and promote heart and gut health. It can even help boost the elasticity of your skin.


The Midlife Kitchen: health-boosting recipes for midlife & beyondMidlife Kitchen - Final Cover (2) is available from Amazon




Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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