A Bone to Pick

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Why are we so afraid to serve fish whole? They are more forgiving than fillets, and much more flavorful.

Almost any fish will do; the bigger the fish, the longer the roasting time. Start by sauteing in olive oil some savory vegetables, such as crushed garlic cloves, sliced onions, tomatoes, and fennel, and black olives. For flavor, throw in a few ribbons of lemon zest (use a potato peeler for this and save the lemon). When the legumes are beginning to soften, pour in white wine almost to cover and stir in a few tablespoons of tomato paste. Preheat oven to 350 (or fire up the wood oven), pour vegetables into a roasting pan, and place seasoned and oiled whole fish (that your fishmonger has cleaned and scaled) with thinly sliced lemon inside on top. Roast for around 20–30 minutes or just until flaky. Remove fish to finish vegetables and reduce liquid.

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