Whole Grilled Fish on Platter

#CookingWithHeinens: Whole Roasted Fish with Herbs

This recipe and photos were provided by Sally Roeckell of Table and Dish and were originally published at 365Barrington.com.

Preparing a whole roasted fish to feed your family or a whole village is unbelievably quick and easy.

There are many reasons to cook a whole fish. First is the taste. The skin and bones keep the flesh moist and flavorful, and the skin itself, when cooked well, is delicious. Whole fish also stands up to grilling heat better than a fillet or fish steak. Finally, whole fish usually costs less by weight than the portioned variety, but it makes for an impressive presentation. These are only a few highlights, the list is truly endless.

Whole Grilled Fish with Lemon and Herbs on Baking Sheet

I find most people who haven’t tried cooking a whole fish are simply afraid of screwing it up. Do not live in fear in your kitchen. Just go for it. What’s the worst that can happen? You really cant mess this up. Stuff it, bake it and eat it. That’s really all there is to it. Yes, there are bones, but most fish, once cooked, are easy to debone. When my kids were young I was careful to dish up their portions making sure no bones were left behind. This step is a small price to pay for the fresh flavor you will enjoy.

So, now that you know how easy it truly is, let’s cook some whole fish on the grill! It’s the best thing to do on a bright, warm summer day. Invite friends and family and make an event out of it.

Whole Grilled Fish on the Grill with Lemon and Herbs

In this recipe, I chose walleye as the featured fish. I typically prefer to use red snapper, but all of the other fish grillers beat me to the fish counter. No worries. Any firm white fish will do nicely, and the walleye was delicious.  Regardless of which fish you choose, this recipe is guaranteed to pack big flavor with little preparation.

Roasted Whole Fish

Ingredients

  • 1 walleye, red snapper or firm white fish of your choice
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill
  • Olive oil or (garlic butter* optional)
  • Salt & pepper

Notes:

  • Heinen’s sells delicious compound butters in the Dairy department. The garlic and herb butter works wonderfully with this recipe. Just slice a few pieces and tuck into the cavity of the fish.
  • I also grilled a few extra slices of lemon with the fish. Grilling the lemon caramelizes its natural sugars making it sweet and tart. Use these to squeeze over the finished fish. Yum!

Method

On the Grill

  • Rinse the fish, inside and out. Pat the outside and inside dry with paper towels. Drizzle olive oil all over the interior and exterior of the fish. Season with salt and pepper, inside and out.
  • Stuff the snapper with fresh herbs and garlic. Then stuff the fish with orange and lemon slices. Place any slices you can’t fit inside the fish both underneath and on top of the fish.
  • Brush the grate with oil.
  • To ensure even cooking, score the thick areas of the flesh.
  • Grill the fish over moderately-high heat, approximately 400˚, uncovered, until it is lightly charred and releases easily from the grate, 10 minutes.
  • Turn and grill until the flesh is white throughout, 10 minutes longer.
  • Transfer the fish to a platter and let stand for 10 minutes. Drizzle with oil and serve

In the Oven

  • Preheat oven to 400˚.
  • Rinse the fish, inside and out. Pat the outside and inside dry with paper towels. Drizzle olive oil all over the interior and exterior of the fish. Season with salt and pepper, inside and out.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
  • Lay the fish on the lined baking sheet. Stuff the fish with fresh herbs and garlic. Then stuff the fish with orange and lemon slices.
  • Place any slices you can’t fit inside the fish both underneath and on top of the fish.
  • Roast for approximately 30 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the flesh is flaky. Serve immediately.

Whole Grilled Fish on Platter with Lemon and Herbs
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