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Fish and Shellfish, Mains

Whole fish with tapenade

Whole fish with tapenade
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

I am sitting in my office on this hot, still, Los Angeles afternoon, listening to the mockingbirds and thinking about the fact that in one week I'll be in Provence. In many ways, this dry summer day is much like ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 4
  • 1 large whole fish, about 2 1/2 pounds, preferably a white-fleshed fish like sea bass, red snapper, porgy (daurade) or striped bass
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Classic Tapenade, divided
  • 2 or 3 sprigs rosemary
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons dry white or rose wine
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Step 1Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Oil a baking dish large enough to accommodate the fish.

Step 2Rinse the fish with cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle it on both sides with salt and pepper, then rub with the olive oil. Measure the fish at the thickest point to determine how long you will bake it. Place a heaped tablespoon of tapenade and the rosemary sprigs in the stomach cavity of the fish. Place the fish in the baking dish. Pour the lemon juice over the fish, add the wine to the baking dish and cover tightly with foil that has been lightly oiled on the underside.

Step 3Bake the fish for 5 minutes per 1/2 inch of thickness. Remove it from the oven, and test for doneness. It is done if it is opaque and pulls apart easily with a fork at the thickest point.

Step 4Serve the fish with the remaining tapenade on the side.

Note: Shulman is author of "Mediterranean Light" and "Provencal Light" (both published by William Morrow).

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