Roasted Whole Fish

Yield: Serves 2 to 3

This is a fast and light meal for two, paired perhaps with Fennel and Onion Salad. Striped bass or red snapper would be our choice.

  • 1 1/2 pounds whole striped bass, red snapper, or other white fleshed fish, cleaned and scaled.
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 Medium onion
  • 2 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tbs finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Lime wedges

Cut off the fins and trim the tail a little since it will burn in the oven. Cut 3 X's about 1/4 inch deep and 2 1/2 inches long on one side of the fish. Rub the skin with one tablespoon of the olive oil, and salt and pepper both sides of the fish. Place the onion and parsley sprigs inside the cavity.

Coat an ovenproof skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place over high heat. Place the fish in the pan, slit side down, and sear, turning over to brown the other side after 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs, herbs, olive oil, and garlic. Cover the top of the fish with this mixture and place in the oven. Bake until the flesh appears white through the cut nearest to the head. Time will depend on the size and thickness of the fish, but should be no more than 15 minutes. The bread crumbs will cover any imperfections and make the fish look especially appetizing.

Reproduced by permission from Warner Books.
Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton at Home: Two Chefs Cook for Family and Friends
© 1994 by Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton. All rights reserved