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Recipes Mains:

Whole Roasted Fish with Citrus & Herbs

Athena Calderone for Food & Wine
Whole Roasted Fish with Citrus & Herbs


Serves 4-6 people

1 3lb whole fish (red snapper, branzino or seabass) cleaned, scaled, & gutted

2 lemons sliced thin

1 valencia oranges sliced thin

2 shallots diced

3 garlic cloves smashed

assorted bunch of fresh chopped herbs (thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary)

few stalks from a fennel bulb for stuffing, & fronds for garnish

kosher salt


The Prep

Have your local fish monger clean, de-bone, gut, & butterfly your whole fish.

Place you fish in a roasting pan or on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Make 3 crosswise slashes down to the bone on each side of the fish. The cuts help distribute heat so the fish cooks evenly. Slice at an angle repeating every 1 1/2″. Use an extra-sharp knife.

Season your fish inside and out with salt and pepper and coat it generously all over with olive oil

Stuff each slash with a slice of lemon and a bit of the herb mixture. Stuff the inside cavity with lemon slices, shallots, sliced fennel stalks, garlic, & fresh herbs. This can be prepared in advance and sit in your fridge on a sheet pan until ready for cooking. Roast in a 450 degree oven for approximately 45 min – 1 hour

For the roasted fennel, half the fennel bulb through the core, halve again, and halve each quarter yet again. Place fennel on a sheet pan or pyrex dish with generous amount of olive oil, orange rind, habanero pepper, reserved orange juice, and salt & pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven.

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