Roasted Whole Fish With Zesty Green Sauce


We love seafood and try and eat it at least three times a week when we are in Florida because upon our return to Umbria fresh seafood is not as readily available. One of my husband’s favorite type of seafood is branzino, and he loves to roast it whole, either encased in salt or simply whole stuffed with herbs. I found two small branzino at our local Whole Foods Market and decided we would roast them whole and served them with roasted fingerling potatoes and asparagus. We made a zesty salsa verde from parsley, garlic, capers, lemon, and chili peppers to drizzle over the fish once it was cooked. The fish was very moist and tender, and the sauce added a nice piquant accent. If branzino (sea bass) are not available, snapper will work well also.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2012

Roasted Whole Fish With Green Sauce

Roasting fish in the oven whole keeps the flesh tender and moist.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • 1 Bunch Scallions, Green Parts Chopped & Reserve 3 Inches White Section To Stuff Fish
  • 2 Fresh Chili Peppers (I Used Jalapeño Peppers)
  • 1/4 Cup Salt Cured Capers, Rinsed & Chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
  • 3 Lemons
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive OIl
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • 4 Whole Small Fish, About 1 to 1 1/2 Pounds Each (See Note Above), Scaled & Gutted

Directions:

  1. Coarsely chop 1 cup of the parsley leaves with the garlic and place in a bowl with the chopped green onions and capers.
  2. Seed one of the chili peppers and mince finely and add this to the bowl as well.
  3. Zest one of the lemons, adding to the sauce, and then squeeze the juice of the lemon into the bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil and black pepper to the sauce and mix well, then let sauce sit for flavors to meld.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  6. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with olive oil.
  7. Rub the exterior of the fish with oil and place on baking sheet.
  8. Thinly slice the remaining two lemon and place in the cavities of each fish.
  9. Thinly slice the other chili pepper and place on top of the lemon slices, then stuff with the parsley.
  10. Bake the fish until the flesh is opaque, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. Either serve the fish whole with the sauce on the side, or remove the fillets from each fish and spoon the sauce on top.

Adapted from New York Times.