Fennel-Roasted Whole Salmon
- 1 whole (6-to-8-pound) wild salmon or sea trout, cleaned
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 lemons
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, 1/2 cup fronds reserved
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Rub cavity of fish with 1 tablespoon olive oil; lightly sprinkle cavity with salt and pepper.
Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut lemons crosswise into paper-thin slices. Lay half of the lemon slices inside the cavity of the salmon; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons thyme leaves. Rub outside of salmon with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, toss fennel slices with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; toss to coat. Spread fennel in an even layer on a large, deep, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a large roasting pan. If a small part of the head or tail extends over the edges, gently curl fish to fit inside pan. If a larger portion extends over the edges, halve crosswise and place halves side by side. Top salmon with remaining lemon slices. Scatter thyme sprigs and fennel fronds over and around the fish.
Transfer fish to oven and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 425 degrees. Pour wine into pan all around fish and continue roasting until flesh is opaque throughout and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish registers 130 degrees, 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove fish from oven and let stand at least 10 minutes or until it comes to room temperature. Serve fish whole in roasting pan or transfer to a serving platter.