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Author Notes: My Mom loved to serve this dish in late summer and early fall, when all the vegetables were the tastiest. In other seasons she would use mostly root vegetables, but eggplants and tomatoes were always present fresh or preserved.
I remember every time when Mom was putting the fish into the oven, she would tell me the same story; how in the old times it would be roasting in a wood burning oven, and how much more beautiful it looked and tasted. I get emotional many times when cooking or baking in my kitchen, because it reminds me of the happy times with my dear mother in the kitchen. Now I am a mother and grandmother, and often serve this dish with some very little additions.
My Mom used to make a sauce just with vinegar, oil, sugar, and finely grated garlic, close to a Mignonette Sauce. I like to prepare a Lemon Sauce for the fish, and serve it in a nice sauce boat.
Ingredients for the fish and vegetables:
- • 2 whole fish about 2 ½ pounds each, such as Red Snapper or Striped Bass or any fish with a white flash, and not a lot of bones (scaled, gutted and gills removed)
- • 1 cup Pure olive oil plus 11/2 tablespoons
- • 1 cup good quality dry white wine (Sauvignon Blank)
- • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- • 2 medium size onions sliced thickly
- • 2 medium eggplants(unpeeled) sliced in half, and then cut in half-moon pieces about 1/3 of an inch
- • 3, 4 large ripe but firm meaty tomatoes cut in ¼ inch rounds
- • 1 red bell pepper sliced in strips
- • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper sliced in strips
- • 3 carrots and 2 parsnips, sliced in strips
- • ½ teaspoon dry pepper flakes
- • 4 cloves of garlic finally grated plus 4 cloves unpeeled and smashed
- • 8 lemon slices
- • 2 bundles fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, and dill, plus a lot of extra (chopped)
- • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- • 3 lemons, juiced
- • 1 tablespoon prepared mayonnaise
- • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- • 1 tablespoon honey
- • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- • 1/2 cup olive oil
- • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
- Prepare the fish and marinate over night before roasting. Wash and dry with paper towels the fish inside and the skin. Cut three (3) diagonal slits about 1/3-inch deep on each side of the fish. 3. Mix salt, pepper, the grated garlic, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil; smear this mixture all over the fish, and also inside the slits and fish. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator. Marinate over night.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the eggplants, sprinkle with salt and let them drain in a colander for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare all the other vegetables, then wash of the salt from the eggplants and dry them of with paper towels. Transfer all vegetables (leave out only the tomatoes), and the unpeeled garlic cloves to a large bowl. Wisk the wine, vinegar, oil, salt, black pepper and dry pepper flakes in a small bowl (taste for seasoning). Mix all the freshly chopped herbs. Pour 2/3 of this vinaigrette over the vegetables and mix well to cover them all, sprinkle with herbs, and spread in one layer in a not to deep roasting pan lined with aluminum foil and parchment paper. Top with a layer of tomatoes, sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Cover with parchment paper. Transfer to the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Get the fish out of the refrigerator to take of the chill. Stuff the insides with herb bundles, 3 slices of tomatoes, and 1 lemon slice cut in half. 2. Take out the roasting pan with the partly roasted vegetables; with a large spatula push gently the soften vegetables to the sides of the roasting pan. Orange the fish in the middle; pour the remaining vinaigrette over the fish. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees F., and return the roasting pan to the oven uncovered. Bake for another 30, 40 minutes or until the fish and vegetables are golden brown but not burned. Remove from oven, present on an oval large platter. Surround the fish with the vegetables (discard the unpeeled garlic cloves). Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, dill, olives and lemon slices, filet and serve.
- Lemon Sauce: Whisk together lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified and stir in the herbs.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Recipe You Want To Be Remembered For