Since the farmer's market in downtown Baltimore is now back in full swing, I get to indulge myself in one of their best offerings: fresh fish. Don't get me wrong, the 32nd Street Farmer's Market is still one of my favorite places in the world; they just don't have fresh fish. The proud people behind Salt River Lobster are available downtown every Sunday with many fresh catches. This morning I had my heart (and stomach) set on getting a whole fish. As usual, I was not disappointed. Some lovely whole branzino were available and after a few other purchases, I was heading home to keep this bad boy on ice. All that was left to do was toss together some onion, raisins, and oregano for a stuffing and get that sucker in the oven.

1 whole branzino, cleaned
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 vidalia onion
3 sprigs oregano
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Peel the onion and grate on a box grater. In a saucepan, heat the butter over a medium heat. Add the grated onion and the raisins plus a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown. Add red wine vinegar and cook until the onions and raisins have absorbed all of the moisture. Set aside.

Rinse the fish out and pat dry with some paper towels. Season the inside and outside of the fish liberally with salt and pepper. Carefully stuff the inside with the onion/raisin mixture as well as the sprigs of oregano. Grease a roasting pan with the olive oil (in my case, I used a couple of sheets of aluminum foil to form a make-shift pan). Place the fish in the pan, tossing it over a few times to coat the entire surface with the oil. Roast for 20 minutes and then move to the broiler for an additional 3-5 minutes to aid in browning. Keep a close eye on the fish when it is under the broiler. If the tail starts to get too brown, cover it with some aluminum foil.

Remove the fish from the broiler and careful carve off portions. Serve with some of the stuffing, some flageolet beans, and maybe some bull's blood beet greens. Garnish with a little oregano. And don't forget to save those bones for stock!



The Italian Dish said...

Beautiful fish! Your market in Baltimore sounds great if you can buy branzino. Lucky! I like your preparation.