Whole Roasted Fish Mirepoix
Serves 1. While the recipe is for one, just double it for 2. I recommend roasting each fish separately in its own pan and serving the fish directly from the cooking vessel.
Time requirement: about 15 minutes prep and 40 minutes to cook.
What you will need:
1 small whole head on Sea Bass, Red Snapper, Mackerel, or other small whole fish. The fish will weigh about 1¼ to 1½ pounds before being eviscerated and scales and fins removed.
Kosher salt and black pepper to grind.
1 garlic clove.
1 tablespoon olive oil.
1 carrot, about 2 ounces.
1 celery stalk, about 2 ounces.
1 shallot about 1.5-2 ounces.
12 cherry tomatoes.
6 basil leaves.
1 teaspoon capers, pack in salt or brine, rinsed.
1 ounce raisins.
½ cup white wine
Wash the fish under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Put a dash of salt and pepper in the fish cavity. Place the fish on a clean flat work surface. On each side make 2-3 deep incisions in the flesh – from the skin to the bone, on the diagonal.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Cut 6 thin slices from the garlic clove; insert one slice in each incision of the fish. Cut 3 very thin slices from the lemon, slice these in half and insert one lemon slice in each incision. Set the fish aside.
Choose a ceramic baking dish that will hold the fish with a little extra room. Coat the bottom with the olive oil.
Wash and peel the carrot and celery. Slice them into the thinnest slices you can manage. Peel the shallot and slice it into the thinnest slices you can manage. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Tear each basil leaf into 4-5 pieces. Place all these ingredients into the oiled pan. Sprinkle the capers and raisins a top and add the white wine. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, stir all the ingredients. Set aside for a moment. Set the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
When the oven comes to 450 degrees f, place the fish atop the vegetables in the pan, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook 15 minutes, the uncover the dish and cook 5 more minutes.
You can serve the fish directly from the roasting dish or serve it on a warm serving plate, place the vegetable on the plate and the fish atop. Note: despite the cooking time, the garlic inserted into the fish will be underdone. I remove it. It has done it job to flavor the flesh. But if you like slightly raw garlic, enjoy it.