Month of July: “Purple Citrus Sweet Perfume” Recipe: Sauteed Monkfish with Rose Petal Salt

I stopped at the grocery store to get a fillet of monkfish…rose petal salt was made days ago. A single red rose caught my eye in the florist department and I thought it would be a nice touch to spread some petals around the fish. While checking out, the cashier said with excitement, “Oh, a single red rose! It reminds me of Beauty and the Beast!” She laughed and I smiled and thought, “This is perfect.” Unwittingly, this blog has been evolving into writing about whatever insights bubble up that day and so many amazing things happen! Beginner’s mind. So here we are. Beauty and the Beast. Once again this takes me back to the concept of duality, you know, both sides of the one coin thing. It really is frustratingly true. Those damn fairy tales aren’t such fairy tales after all, huh? I guess we all the want the beauty without the beast. But maybe today, this means something else. Maybe the beauty is the love and the beast is the grief. It made me think of a passage from Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle. She writes so eloquently that “Grief is love’s souvenir. It’s our proof that we once loved. Grief is the receipt we wave in the air that says to the world: LOOK! LOVE WAS ONCE MINE. I LOVED WELL. HERE IS THE PROOF THAT I PAID THE PRICE!” That rings so loud and so clear to me. Maybe that is why I feel like I have been grieving for centuries…I love, I just love. And maybe, just maybe, the grief is OK because it means that love was once mine and that I loved well. What else can I ask for? I think I’m beginning to understand.

Ingredients: petals of 1 large unsprayed red rose washed and dried, 2 tablespoons Maldon salt, 1 1/2 pds monkfish fillet, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter.

  1. One day in advance make the rose petal salt. Place the petals and salt on a platter and rub together, don’t overwork the mixture. Transfer to a jar and let infuse overnight.
  2. On the day of serving, cut the monkfish into 12 chunky pieces. Lightly oil the fish. Heat the clarified butter in a large skillet. Add the fish and cook turning one about 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve hot with a generous portion of rose petal salt on top.

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