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Herb-Rubbed Grilled Fish

  • prep: 45 mins
    total time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • servings: 6




  • 3 bulbs fennel, fronds separated, bulbs cut through core into 1-inch wedges
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons whole pink peppercorns (available at
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh flatleaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 whole striped bass or snapper (3 3/4 to 4 pounds), cleaned
  • 2 cups mixed herb sprigs and other aromatic greens, such as mint, celery leaves, oregano, and parsley (optional)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 habanero or other colorful chiles, for serving (optional)
  • Lemon slices, for serving
  • Grilled Potatoes, for serving
  • Mixed Herb Sauce, for serving


  1. Step 1

    Using a mortar and pestle, crush 1/2 cup fennel fronds, black and pink peppercorns, garlic, and parsley to a paste. (Or pulse in a food processor.) Stir in 2 tablespoons oil. Rub mixture over fish, inside and out; stuff fish with more fennel fronds, herb sprigs, and greens. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 30 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Preheat grill to medium. Season fish generously with salt and pepper. Brush a fish-grilling basket with oil; place fish inside and secure. Grill, covered, turning once, until fish is opaque and flakes when tested with the tip of a knife, 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Meanwhile, toss fennel bulbs and chiles in a bowl with salt and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Grill until fennel and chiles are lightly marked and tender (if they start to burn, shift to a cooler area of grill). Arrange fish on a platter; surround with lemon, potatoes, fennel, and chiles (chiles should be eaten with caution). Drizzle with herb sauce; serve immediately.

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