Monday, August 1, 2011

#139 Roasted Whole Fish with Lemon and Rosemary

In recent years I've heard of unpronounceable healthy ingredient lists and more products that are free of preservatives, artificial colors, processed foods and sugar substitutes that are becoming so popular day by day. Even sugar substitutes have advanced from the artifical Splenda to natural products like Agave nectar and Truvia. Notice how most retailers are re-considering their recipes and following healthy trends to stay marketable---I will not mention any specific brand names here.  In short, we are no longer content with plain old groceries from one big supermarket.

There are times when I seriously considered reaching out to "Peapod"- the decade old convenience of online shopping at Giant for my weekly shopping, on days when I cannot make the trip down to the store.  As far as I am concerned, I have this habit of examining my produce before I decide how I want to use it to make a special dish. Maybe I am a bit old-fashioned, but I prefer not to make a list or have Peapod deliver my groceries to the front door.  This means that I must juggle my time to run to a Farmer's Market, Asian Supermarket, American Grocery and finally stop by the Indian Store at the same time come up with the weekly Menu.  Don't get me wrong.....I do strongly support Peapod for being such a wonderful service for those who are unable to drive or for those elderly folks in a retirement home.  On the other hand, I am mortified by the idea of consuming any meat or vegetables that I have not selected myself--especially seafood when I am able to go out to buy them myself.  Sometimes the seabass or red snapper at our fish market may be past its prime and then I will pass on the fish and go for something else.  This time, I selected a whole White fish that looked fresh from the sea, asked the fish monger to take the head off and clean the belly to see if I could roast it in the oven. I was so surprised at how amazing it turned out with just a few ingredients and loads of  flavor!! The recipe was just concocted in my mind with a bunch of fresh rosemary and good old lemon. I know I will be making this all over again because it was demolished at the dinner table.

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole White Fish or any other fish, cleaned, scaled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fennel seeds crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 small garlic clove, minced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a heavy large baking sheet with foil. Oil the foil and fish with 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the fish atop the foil. Sprinkle the fish cavity and all over with salt and pepper. Squeeze 1/2 of the lemon inside the fish cavity. Fill the cavity with the onion, lemon slices and rosemary sprigs. Bake until the fish is just cooked through at the bone, about 40 minutes. Throw in some sliced red peppers, onion wedges and zuchini slices to serve with the fish and prepare a side of instant cousous.

Meanwhile, squeeze the remaining lemon 1/2 into a small bowl. Whisk in the crushed fennel, rosemary, and garlic. Gradually whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Season the lemon sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Using a sharp knife, separate the 2 fillets from the backbone. Using a metal spatula, transfer the top fillets to a plate.

 Lift the fish backbone from the bottom fillets (the backbone and head should come off together easily), and discard.

Using a spatula, transfer the remaining fillets to plates. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper. Drizzle the lemon-rosemary sauce over the fish and serve with broiled vegetables.


  1. wow very tempting n ur clicks r awesome

  2. This is a really nice fish dish, I like the spices employed.
    I didn't know they still had those grocery delivery programs. They had webvan in Atlanta about 10 years ago but it folded in less than a year I think. I never used it, like You I prefer to look and touch and sniff etc. My nearest Indian grocery is 40 miles away. But I have to go to that city every so often, so it's not a problem .

  3. looks very tempting...nice pics...

  4. fantastic recipe...bookmarked right away..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  5. This fish looks so simple and yummy! I must try your recipe one day!
    I see your shopping scheme is very similar to mine (I have to make at least 4 different shops every week...). It's the old-fashioned way, the way people did before the mass supermarkets arrival. When one wants quality and variety, there is no way to buy everything in one supermarket!

  6. That must be a very tasty dish! A great way of preparing fish.



  7. Hi Malli, this fish dish looks awesome. Sometimes, in our office canteen, they offer a similar baked fish dish with rosemaries. Whenever I spot it, I immediately go for it and it would taste just good(even though I wud have to add a pinch of more salt to satiate my tastebuds). Your recipe is very clear. May be on a sunday, I shall try this. :)

  8. wonderful dish, lovely for a family meal and I love the flavors!

  9. ThnX everyone.
    I feel better knowing that there are others who still love the old fashioned method....I am not the only picky person:)
    I love that u shared the info.... quite interesting to know that you've had a similar fish roast. I never knew it could be this good with fish until now, so I added the Saunf seeds in an effort to spice it up.LOL! The marinade is a Mediterranean combo that I have used on Chicken breast many times. My coworker brings me a fresh bunch of rosemary every Summer and I try to use it as much as possible. This is my first time using it on Fish and I was delighted!!

  10. i love anything with fish..this sure does loook yummy!!

  11. I love the spices and the combination veggies used here, yummy! Also, love the way you cut the fish, looks like a pro.

  12. Love preparing fish this way. Great post!


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