I have always loved dining on a whole roasted fish, faces don’t scare me. I mean I sucked the brains out of a chicken head in China! But cooking a whole fish was intimidating because one….how do you know it’s really a fresh fish, aside from the eyeball test…and two….. where do I get a whole fish from? Well, luckily we found a local wholesale fish market that serves all the finest local restaurants here. Catalina Offshore is where all the chefs go to get their seafood, so now when I eat at a restaurant and I order an amazing Branzino or Salmon, I know where they got it. Priceless in my opinion. Not only because you know exactly what you are putting into your body and where it came from but NOW, I know that I can also make that same dish, just as good, for a lot less chaaaa-ching!
We all know I have talked Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook to death, but in all seriousness, I think she and I share palates. I could cook through the book and probably not be disappointed in anything. When I decided on cooking a whole fish for the second time in my life, I wanted to do what she did, clearly can’t go wrong!
1 (2 lb.) whole fish, white striped bass or branzino
Kosher salt and pepper
15 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 Tbs olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lemon, sliced
3-4 springs of herbs, thyme, rosemary, sage
1 lbs heirloom tomatoes, slices or cut into wedges
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. ( just do this with anything you roast)
Place fish on the foil lined sheet and season like its your job all over with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes and then rub it all over and inside the fish. Place the lemon rounds inside the cavity along with the herbs.
Arrange the tomatoes underneath and around the fish, then drizzle the whole party with olive oil.
Roast until fish is flaky, 20 minutes should be perfect.
Serve right away.
AND don’t forget the fish cheeks, the best bite of the entire fish!