Whole fish makes a beautiful presentation—and tastes even better than it looks when stuffed with fresh fennel and herbs and cooked between layers of lemon and orange slices.
- 2 (1 1/2-lb) whole striped bass, cleaned, scaled, and fins clipped
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup fennel, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh oregano
- 8 slices orange
- 8 slices lemon
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- With a sharp knife, make 3 deep cuts (down to but not through the bone) diagonally crosswise on both sides of each fish. Set fish in a bowl and rub inside and out with 2 tbsp of the olive oil then drizzle with the lemon juice. Sprinkle inside and out with the salt and pepper. Toss fennel and onion in a bowl with the remaining 1 tbsp oil and fill each fish with 1/2 of the mixture, 2 thyme sprigs and 2 oregano sprigs.
- Using eight of the orange and lemon slices, form 2 rows on a baking sheet, alternating the fruit. Place a fish on top of each row. Top the fish with a second row, again alternating the remaining lemon and orange slices.
- Roast 30-31 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve immediately.