Branzino al Forno con Vegetali
Oven-Baked Sea Bass with Vegetables
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 (1 ¼-pound) whole sea bass, cleaned (you can use other whole fish such as red snapper)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 lemons, 1 cut into eight wedges, plus juice of ½ lemon (optional)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup white wine
Bowl of ice water
½ cup cauliflower florets
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin
⅓ pound snow peas
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
4 cabbage leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tomatoes, chopped
1. Salt and pepper the cavity of each fish and stuff each with a sprig of rosemary, a sprig of thyme, and a lemon wedge. Place the bass in a platter with ¾ cup of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and marinate for at least 2 hours, refrigerated. (It’s best if you can marinate it overnight.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Transfer the fish and its marinade to a baking dish and roast it for 10 minutes. Add the wine and return the fish to the oven. When the wine has evaporated, after about 10 minutes, the fish is ready.
2. While the fish cooks, prepare a bowl of ice water.
3. In a pot, steam cauliflower, the carrot, the snow peas, the celery, and the cabbage for 3 or 4 minutes, then plunge them into the ice water. To a large saute pan, add the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil and the garlic and cook over medium heat until the garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook less than a minute, then add the steamed vegetables, salt and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the sea bass from the oven. Serve each portion with the vegetables and a wedge of lemon. You can squeeze the juice of ½ lemon over the vegetables if you want.