Monkfish Sumac Skewers with Warm Chickpea Purée, Spinach and Burnt Lemon Recipe

Sumac is a lovely lemony-tart spice popular in Middle Eastern cooking that works particularly well with fish dishes. You can also use it as a post-cooking seasoning in the same way you would salt and pepper. If you wanted to carb-up this dish, some warm flatbreads torn and dipped into the chickpeas would be an excellent addition.

This recipe is extracted from Scorched by Genevieve Taylor (Quadrille, £25), Photography by Jason Ingram

TRY: Genevieve's recipe for Turbot with a Sherry Vinaigrette Baste & Devilled Mackarel!

READ: Genevieve's exclusive interview with Sous Chef 


Ingredients for Monkfish Sumac Skewers with Warm Chickpea Purée, Spinach and Burnt Lemon


For the chickpeas and spinach


To serve


How to make Monkfish Sumac Skewers with Warm Chickpea Purée, Spinach and Burnt Lemon

  1. Tip the diced fish into a bowl and pour the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle in the sumac and season well with salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated, then thread onto the skewers. Line up on a plate or tray and slide into the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

  2. When you are ready to cook, fire up the barbecue for hot direct grilling, but leaving a portion of your grill surface fire-free so you have heat control. You can cook the skewers on a hot grill tray or cage. 

  3. For the chickpeas, set a flameproof pan – a small, deep frying pan is ideal – directly over the fire. Pour in a couple of tablespoons of the olive oil and add the chickpeas, garlic and crushed cumin. Grate in the zest from both lemons, then slice the fruit in half and set the cut faces down on the grill over the fire. Leave to lightly burn on the cut face, then slide off the heat to keep warm. Stir the chickpeas and cook for 10 or so minutes until sizzling and lightly coloured in places. Scoop into a bowl. 

  4. Pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the pan and slide onto the grill bars away from the fire. Add the washed spinach and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. Shut the lid of the barbecue so the spinach wilts a little – I like to cook it lightly so the leaves soften but retain their shape – it should happily wilt by itself. 

    Meanwhile, tip most of the chickpeas into a food processor, saving a couple of tablespoons to garnish. Spoon in the tahini paste and pour in the boiling water. Whizz to a smooth purée and set aside while you cook the fish. 

  5. Remove the fish skewers from the fridge and take to the barbecue. Raise the lid and give the spinach a little stir. Rest the skewers onto a hot grill tray or hang them and cook for a couple of minutes on each side until lightly charred. Remove, along with the burnt lemon and wilted spinach. 

  6. To serve, spoon the chickpea purée between two warmed plates and scatter over the reserved whole chickpeas. Divide the spinach between the plates and top with the skewers. Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil and squeeze over the burnt lemon. Sprinkle with coriander or parsley and serve warm. 

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