One of the best ways to bring out the full flavor of fish is to roast it whole. When a fish is cooked that way, the skin and bones help to preserve the meat's moisture and taste. This recipe is brought to us by David Pasternack, executive chef of New York City's Esca restaurant. Although David's version calls for pompano fish, you can substitute black sea bass or porgy, if desired.
Whole Roasted Fish with Caperberries and Green Olives
2 (1-to-1 1/2-pound) whole pompano, black sea bass, or porgy, scaled, gutted, and cleaned
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 stems fresh parsley
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Sicilian olives
1/2 cup caperberries
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Stuff the cavity of each fish with half of the garlic, rosemary, and parsley. Season each with salt and pepper. Drizzle a small roasting pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer fish to roasting pan. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Drizzle fish on both sides with 1 tablespoon oil for each side. Arrange half of the lemon slices over each fish. Sprinkle with olives and caperberries. Drizzle fish with 2 tablespoons oil and wine.
2. Roast fish until cooked through, about 18 minutes. Transfer each fish to a large plate. Remove lemon slices to the side of each plate. Season fish with salt and pepper. Insert the blade of a knife down the center of each fish to open slightly. Drizzle remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the lemon juice between the two fish. Serve immediately.