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Category: Fish and Shellfish

Roasted whole whitefish with charmoula and French green lentils

Roasted whole whitefish with charmoula and French green lentils
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

You can't cook just anything for Rosh Hashana. There are rules to follow, traditions to uphold. And I wasn't familiar with any of them: I grew up in Tornado Alley, in a Quaker boarding school in northern Iowa. But here ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes | Serves 4
Note: Adapted from "Jewish Cooking for All Seasons" by Laura Frankel. The charmoula should be prepared at least a day in advance and keeps for up to 5 days.


  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup good-quality olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, washed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, washed

Step 1Place the garlic and salt in a mortar and pound it into a paste, or mash together on a cutting board. Transfer the paste to a food processor and process with the pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, chile flakes, paprika, cumin, parsley and cilantro. Refrigerate overnight. Makes 1 cup.


  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 tablespoons good quality olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup French green lentils, rinsed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Step 1In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, saute the onion, garlic and carrot in 2 tablespoons olive oil until they begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.

Step 2Add the lentils and 2 cups of water and season with one-half teaspoon of salt and one-eighth teaspoon of pepper. Cover the pan and simmer gently over low heat until the lentils are al dente, about 45 minutes. Be careful not to overcook as lentils will quickly turn mushy. Drain any excess water.

Step 3Toss the lentils with the parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Adjust the seasoning and reserve. (The lentils may be made ahead of time and stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.)

Roasted whole whitefish and assembly

  • 1 whole Lake Superior whitefish, about 3 1/2 pounds, with head and tail intact (scales, fins and gills removed)
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 slices lemon

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Season the fish inside and out with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the fish (diagonally if necessary) on a baking sheet. Roast until firm to the touch or a thermometer registers 130 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the fish, about 25 minutes.

Step 2Carefully remove the head and tail and debone the fish. Reassemble the fish on a platter with the head and tail, spoon the lentils around the fish and charmoula over the top. Garnish with lemon slices. Serve immediately.

Each serving:
755 calories; 53 grams protein; 36 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams fiber; 45 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 131 mg. cholesterol; 708 mg. sodium.
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