Buying fish whole can often be quite daunting for a lot of people. They assume that it requires a load of extra work to get the fish into an edible position, but the reality is that you can cook fish whole without doing anything to them.
Yes, they’re slightly more awkward to eat because you have to be wary of bones, but when you bake a fish whole, the meat going incredibly juicy and tender, and the bones will all come out really easily.
I made this dish a couple of weeks ago when we were over at Laura’s parents house and it went down really well. Not only that, but it’s a great sharing dish. You can throw in a fish per person and then serve up some fresh cous cous, quinoa, rice, pasta or a salad to go with it. Just remember to check how your fish was sourced when you buy it – try to look out for line caught fish as it’s a much more sustainable process.
- 4 whole sea bream
- 2 unwaxed lemons (cut into quarters)
- 80g asparagus
- 100g vine cherry tomatoes
- Half a red chilli (sliced)
- 2 cloves of garlic (sliced)
- 6 baby shallots (chopped into quarters)
- 30g fresh parsley (chopped)
- 30g fresh dill (chopped)
- Handful of coarse sea salt
- 150ml of olive oil
- Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius / 392 degrees Fahrenheit / Gas mark 5.
- Add half of the olive oil to a large baking tin (or enough to cover the surface).
- Layer on the fish together in the tin along with all of the vegetables and lemons. Sprinkle across the coarse sea salt and drizzle the remaining olive oil evenly over the fish.
- Sprinkle over all of the parsley and dill across the top of the dish and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes maximum. You'll know when the fish is done because the eyes of the will be opaque. If they're still translucent, the fish needs to be cooked for longer. If they're opaque and have completely sunken in, you've overcooked it. Remember that tip!