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Categories: Fish and shellfish, Main courses, Quick and easy

Whole baked fish with roasted vegetables

Whole baked fish with roasted vegetables
Bryan McLellan / For the Times

As it emerges from the kitchen, the white glistening oblong gives no hint as to what it is, but it is carried so gently and with such a sense of reverence you could imagine it had some religious significance. It ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 4
Note: From chef Michael Cimarusti at Water Grill in Los Angeles. Fleur de sel is coarse sea salt.

Fish

  • 1 whole striped bass (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Fennel fronds from 1 fennel bulb

Step 1Rinse the fish thoroughly under running water; pat dry with paper towels. Generously sprinkle with salt. Place the sliced lemons in the cavity and layer the herbs and fennel fronds on top of the fish.

Assembly

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes
  • 1 bulb fennel bulb, cut into 8 slices
  • 1 head garlic, divided into cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 bunches fresh spring onions, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 anchovy filets
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 pound small plum or large cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Fleur de sel
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped Italian parsley

Step 1Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a large roasting pan inside to heat for 5 minutes.

Step 2Remove the pan and brush the oil on the bottom, then add the potatoes, fennel, garlic, onions, anchovies, rosemary and thyme. Stir to coat. Roast for 15 minutes. Push the vegetables to one side and place the fish in the pan and scatter the butter around the vegetables and fish. Roast for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over with a spatula. Continue roasting until the fish tests done, about 15 minutes; to check, insert the tip of a knife near the backbone of the fish at the thickest point. The fish should be opaque and pull away easily from the bone. Add the tomatoes the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Step 3Remove the fish and place on a warm serving platter. Rub the fish with the cut head of garlic carefully to avoid breaking the skin (this imparts a nice garlic flavor). Squeeze the half lemon over the fish, and sprinkle with the Sherry vinegar and fleur de sel to taste. Place the vegetables from the pan around the fish and sprinkle with the parsley.

Each serving:
471 calories; 233 mg. sodium; 134 mg. cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 50 grams carbohydrates; 33 grams protein; 8 grams fiber.
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