Whole Fish with Fennel
Summary: Keeping it simple
- 1–2 fresh, scaled, gutted, and cleaned whole fish (Gibson recommends using sea bream, which weigh about 1 pound each, or a couple Pacific sand dabs, which weigh about ½ pound apiece)
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- fronds from 1 bulb of fennel
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
- reheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
- On one side of the fish, lightly score 3 or 4 diagonal slashes—no need to cut down to the bone. Liberally salt the interior cavity of the fish with half the salt.
- In a small bowl, toss together the fennel fronds, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, and lemon slices, and then stuff the mixture into the belly of the fish.
- Salt the exterior of the fish with the remaining salt.
- Place a large stainless sauté pan over high heat. Add remaining olive oil and heat until almost smoking, and then carefully place fish slashed-side-down in the pan. Lower heat to medium and cook for approximately 3 minutes.
- Carefully flip fish to other side and place in oven for about 4 minutes.
- Remove fish from pan and drain on paper towels or a clean cloth towel. Transfer to warmed plate.
- Garnish with sautéed tomatoes, potatoes, warm olives, any kind of sharp, zesty mayo or salsa, or a lemon wedge.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 7 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2
More on Kevin Gibson plus additional photos for this recipe in our In The Kitchen feature in the November/December 2010 issue
Photo: Kathleen Bauer
Kathleen Bauer is a frequent contributor to Northwest Palate. Read more of her writings online at www.goodstuffnw.com