Smoked Monkfish with Basil & Prosciutto


A riff on the classic Italian saltimbocca alla Romana, this dish subs monkfish for the veal and basil for the sage to lighten it up a bit for summer. Serve with plenty of lemon wedges and some dressed garden greens for a delicate warm weather supper.

Serves 6

2½ to 3 pounds monkfish filets (cut into 6 pieces)
2 tablespoons lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
12 basil leaves
12 slices prosciutto

In a shallow pan or bowl, season the monkfish fillets with salt and store covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Prepare grill for medium, indirect heat, about 250°. Pat fillets dry and smoke for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the fish is firm and slightly browned on the outside. Remove fish from grill and allow to cool. This step can be done ahead; store smoked fish in the refrigerator until ready to grill.

Add more charcoal to increase grill to medium-high heat.

Rub fillets with lemon zest, top with basil leaves, then wrap with prosciutto. Line grill with foil and return filets the hot side of grill until prosciutto is crisp and brown. Serve whole or sliced into medallions.

Michael Floreak is a food writer who lives and often eats in Cambridge. His interviews with authors, chefs, writers, food policy experts and other characters from the food world have appeared regularly in the Boston Globe and To Market magazine. Michael holds a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and recently completed a Master’s of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy from Boston University. In addition to writing about food, Michael works as a brand strategist and writer. You reach him by email at or follow on Twitter: @floreak.