The fella surprised me by making this for dinner one night when we were having a friend over. We were both quiet impressed and blown away by the presentation. And this is a great way to prepare fish, it comes out at a perfect level of doneness so that is is flaky but very moist and flavorful. The next time we made this dish I helped prepare it and realized just how easy it is to make and became an even bigger fan of this meal.
You can use any whole white fish, herbs and veggies you like. This is just what we've come up with. If you have any other combinations you find that you like let me know.
Whole Baked Trout with Fennel
3 tablespoons oil
2 whole trout, gutted
1 bulb fennel
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lemon, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
Grease the bottom of a baking dish large enough to fit the fish using the oil. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the fish and place into dish.
Cut the fronds off of the fennel bulb and put half of the fronds into the cavity of each fish. Cut the fennel bulb into 1/2 inch thick chunks and scatter around the bottom of the dish around the trout. Salt and pepper the fennel. Place 2 sprigs of thyme inside each fish. Divide the slices of lemon between the fish and place in the cavities.
Place in over for 15 minutes. Check for doneness by poking thickest part of fish with a knife, if the knife goes easily through the flesh the fish is done and ready to eat. If the fish isn't cooked through put in for another 5 to 10 minutes at a time until it is cooked to your preferred level of doneness.
Remove fennel fronds, thyme, and lemon from inside fish and serve with roasted fennel bulb.