Thyme-charred Whole Striped Bass with Confit of Lemon, Garlic,
fish is roasted under a covering of fresh thyme, with chars
in the oven. This gives the fish a smoky flavor, but when
serving the fish, the large pieces of charred thyme should
be carefully removed and discarded. Have the fish-monger remove
the guts, fins, gills, and spines from the fish; it is easier
ounces of fresh thyme sprigs gutted, and fins and gills
cracked black pepper
cup fish stock or chicken stock
cup Lemon and Garlic Confit
cup Lemon Oil
teaspoon grated lemon zest
tablespoon fresh lemon juice
The Fish Stock or Chicken Stock
The Lemon and Garlic Confit,
warm, in a small saucepan over low heat The Lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Fill a medium mixing bowl with water. Remove enough leaves
from the thyme sprigs to yield about 2 tablespoons finely
chopped. Reserve the chopped thyme (discard the stems), and
soak the remaining sprigs of thyme in the water for at least
Cut 5 or 6 shallow, diagonal lines, spaced about 1 inch apart,
across 1 side of the body of each fish. Take care not to cut
all the way through the flesh, but just to score it, about
1/8 of an inch or less. The other side of each fish is left
uncut. The scoring of the flesh allows the essence of the
charred thyme to penetrate the fish.
Season the fish inside and outside with kosher salt and black
pepper. Spread about half of the thyme sprigs over the bottom
of a roasting pan, place the fish on the thyme, scored-side
up, and cover them with the remaining thyme.
Roast the fish until the flesh behind the head can be easily
separated from the spine, about 20 minutes. Remove the roasting
pan from the oven. Using two large stainless-steel spatulas,
remove the whole fish from the roasting pan and transfer them
to a platter. Remove the larger pieces of the charred herbs.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine
the Fish Stock or Chicken Stock and the Lemon and Garlic Confit
with 1/4 cup of the Lemon Oil in which it was cooked. Bring
to a rapid boil, and cook about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon
zest, chopped fresh thyme, and fresh lemon juice. Season with
kosher salt and black pepper to taste, and remove from the
Place the fish on a large platter with ramekins of Lemon and
Garlic Confit on the side.
from Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton's
The Food of Campanile
© 1997 by Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton.
All rights reserved