A whole roasted fish is one of the healthiest—and easiest—dishes you can make. Serve it with a side of green beans and a glass of white wine, and you’ll think you’ve been transported to the South of France.
Start by finding the freshest fish from a good purveyor. It could be branzino (loup de mer), red snapper (pictured) or something else, depending on where you live and the season. If you are serving four people, look for a fish that weighs at least two pounds. Have the fish monger clean and scale the fish for you so it's ready to be prepared.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Slip a few lemon slices inside the opening of the fish along with a sprinkling of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Add more salt and pepper to the outside along with a splash of olive oil. If the fish won't stay closed up with the lemon inside, tie it up with kitchen twine.
Place in the hot oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes; use a spatula to turn the fish over and cook for about seven minutes longer. (This preparation also works great on the grill.) Garnish with fresh chives and serve.
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