Cernia Arrosto (Roasted Grouper)

April 7, 2013Posted in:

Cernia Arrosto
Roasted Grouper
Serves 8

1(6 ½-pound) whole grouper (or substitute red snapper or salmon)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 lemons, thinly sliced
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup white wine
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Have your fishmonger clean the grouper but leave the fish whole (you can remove the head and tail if the fish won’t fit in your oven.) Salt and pepper the cavity of the fish and place 3 sprigs of the rosemary, 4 cloves of the garlic, and the slices of 1 ½ lemons inside. Moisten the fish with half the olive oil. Pour the other half into a baking dish large enough to hold the fish.

Cut zig-zag lines, about ½ inch deep and 3 to 4 inches long, on both sides of the fish, from 2 inches below the eye toward the tail. Cut the remaining lemon slices in half and stuff the zig zags with the half circles, the remaining rosemary, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Put the fish in the in the baking dish and cover and marinate the fish in the refrigerator, overnight if possible.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer the baking pan to the oven and roast the fish for 10 minutes, then baste. Roast for another 20 minutes, then add the wine and tomatoes and flip the fish. Return it to the oven for 5 minutes. Baste again and roast for 10 minutes more. The fish should be ready. (Remember, cooking times are approximate. You must watch the fish and judge for yourself. Make a small cut near the spine of the fish and see if it cooked to the temperature you like. It will take about 45 minutes in all.)

Fillet the fish, sprinkle it with the parsley, and serve it along with the strained pan juices, garnished with the sliced lemons. You can also serve this fish at room temperature.