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Whole Roasted Succulent Fish

It’s been about two months since I have been in my empty little nest. Turns out it hasn’t been very empty at all. My son, nephew, friends, have been visiting as promised, regularly. My son loyally visits every Sunday. We have a nice dinner together…in or out. He constantly requests that I show him some easy quick gourmet type meals to prepare…so he doesn’t have to wait for a visit with Mom to enjoy the tricks of the trade. This posting is for him…and You of course!

A couple of Sundays ago, we found ourselves at Mcewen’s in the Don Mills Shopping center. They had some awesome whole cooked lobsters, wonderful mussels (in a MAP packaging, very cool stuff), and beautiful fresh fish. We decided to take home a big lobster split down the middle to share …and also indulge in an appetizer of mussels. I made a Sri Lanken style broth dotted with fragrant whole spices of fennel seed, cardamom, fenegreek, cinnamon stick and other flavours. We also stocked up on some whole fish to freeze, thaw, and roast during a busy work week. He took his home and I don’t think he’s tackled it yet. I ate mine about a week after the purchase.

A good quality extra virgin olive oil goes a long way with this recipe. I have rationed you with 2 tablespoons, but you can use as much as you like. It tastes wonderful as it melds with the caramelization of the fish, onions, and vegetables.

Seabream is a nice delicate white flesh fish. If you cook it too long it will become dry and tasteless. Another drawback is that it tends to have lots of little bones. Cooking it whole, allows for pulling the tender flesh off the fish, and leaving all those little bones behind. Here’s a nice way to prepare a whole fish.

Whole Roasted Succulent Fish Serves 2 to 4

1 pound whole seabream, scaled, gutted and dressed ½ lemon, sliced 1 to 2 large garlic cloves, sliced Fresh thyme leaves, 5 or 6 sprigs 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or as much as your waistline will allow) 2 medium zucchinis, cut into 4 chunks 1 cup butternut squash, cut into ¼ inch slices freshly ground black pepper coarse kosher salt 1 large onion, sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Lightly oil, salt and pepper the inside of the fish.

  3. Fill the inside of the fish with lemon slices, garlic, and thyme.

  4. Lightly oil, salt and pepper the outside of the fish.

  5. Place the fish on a bed of onion slices in a lightly oiled roasting pan lined with foil

  6. Place the zucchini cut side down on a bed of the onion slices, around the fish. Lightly oil, salt and pepper the zucchini and butternut squash.

  7. Roast for 10 minutes per inch of fish flesh. The fish is ready when it gently flakes. Could take up to 20 minutes. Be careful not to dry out.

  8. Serve with steamed brown and wild rice, according to package instructions (serving suggestion)

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