Dairy Farmers of Canada

Poached Monkfish with Walnut Sauce

Our dietitians' favourite

Creamy walnut sauce comes from the Italian province of Liguria, where it is called “salsa di noci.” Traditionally served with pasta, it is nonetheless a versatile sauce that does wonders for fish like halibut or monkfish, as in this recipe.

  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cooking: 6 min
Yields 4 - 6 servings
poached monkfish with walnut sauce


  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) walnuts
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Canadian Ricotta
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Canadian Parmesan grated
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) Milk
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 - 3 oz (90 g) pieces of monkfish or halibut
  • 2 cups (500 mL) Milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 crimini mushrooms sliced
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Butter
  • Fresh Flat parsley
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Walnut Sauce “Salsa di noci.”

Place walnuts in a small saucepan and cover with boiling water. Bring to a full boil and cook 1 min. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside 3 min at room temperature. Drain and reserve.

In a skillet, melt butter and sweat garlic 1 min. Chop walnuts finely and add to the skillet with remaining sauce ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 3 min, stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture to a deep straight-sided container and puree with an immersion blender. Season to taste and adjust consistency with extra milk, if needed.


In a large skillet heat the second quantity of milk, 1 cup (250 mL) of water and the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.* Bring to a bare simmer for 5 min. Place the fish in the hot poaching liquid and poach for about 6 min or until cooked.

Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms and garlic in the second quantity of butter and season with salt and pepper.

Using a skimmer, remove fish from poaching liquid.

Transfer to warm dinner plates and top with a dollop of hot walnut sauce. Garnish with mushrooms and parsley.

Before cooking the fish, you might want to stir a generous pinch of powdered saffron into the poaching liquid, which will add flavour and colour. Powdered saffron is sold in packets at specialty groceries.


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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 335 Calories
Protein: 27 g
Carbohydrate: 9 g
Fat: 22 g
Fibre: 1.6 g
Sodium: 180 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 17 % / 189 mg
Phosphorus: 41 %
Selenium: 104 %
Vitamin B12: 82 %
Vitamin D: 115 %