This is a fun way to cook a whole fish. Red snapper or trout would work equally well. Have the fishmonger scale and gut the fish for you to save cleanup.
Whole Fish and Fennel
- 1 1/2-2 lbs whole rock fish
- 1 lemon sliced thin
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 4-5 garlic cloves sliced thin
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash fish and pat dry. Cut 4-5 thin slices into fish flesh on both sides without reaching the bone. Season with salt and pepper. Cut fennel stems from bulb saving enough fronds to chop into 2 tbsp. Core bulb and slice fennel into thin strips. Toss fennel in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and layer evenly over a 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each slice of fish with some garlic slivers and chopped fennel fronds. Pack the fish cavity with more fennel fronds and a few slices of lemon. Toss any remaining garlic with sliced fennel and then layer some lemon slices to go under fish on top of fennel. Place fish on lemon slices and layer the remaining lemon over top of fish. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. remove foil and continue to bake until fish is done and fennel begins to turn golden, about 10-15 minutes more. discard lemon slices and serve fish with the roasted fennel.
Here is what it looks like before baking.