Roasting a whole fish may seem downright intimidating; add the pressure to dish out an impressive holiday feast with it at the center, and your stress levels likely skyrocket. But rest assured: while this dish might seem scary to make, the truth is that it's shockingly simple to prepare.
Here, instructions are given for roasting two fish — enough to feed two hungry folks, more if it's bolstered by a coterie of side dishes. To make it celebration friendly, simply scale up the recipe by doubling or even tripling the ingredients; just keep in mind that it's best served promptly after cooking, and the amount of fish you can cook will be limited by oven space. Other than that, it's a fast and easy affair and a recipe that'll serve you well in many different situations.
Keep these purchasing guidelines in mind when shopping for fresh fish.
2 whole branzino, 3/4 to 1 pound each
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 lemon, thinly sliced, plus wedges for serving
4 sprigs thyme, plus more for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a half-sheet pan with foil.
- Pat each fish dry with paper towels, and brush both sides of the skin and the cavity of each fish with olive oil. Season both the skin and the cavity of each fish with salt. Divide the lemon slices and thyme between the fish's cavities. Arrange them on the foil-lined half-sheet pan.
- Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish's flesh is firm and opaque and flakes when pressed with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges; garnish with thyme sprigs.
- Main Dishes, Fish
- 2 servings