Friday, May 8, 2009

Fresh herb vinaigrette

When things come out of hibernation and start growing in my garden it makes me happy. In particular I love my herb garden. Growing fresh herbs is so easy and is a great way to save money. I try to grow a large variety every year. There is not much action yet but a few of the perennials (those that come back every year) are back in full swing - the chives and oregano. I decided to use these two herbs in an olive vinaigrette to put over a whole roasted red snapper.
A great place to buy fresh fish is Isaacson & Stein Fish Co. on Halsted and Fulton. They have a great selection of very fresh seafood and their prices are good. Last time I was there a couple weeks ago they had a special on frozen whole red snappers for $4 a pound so I stocked up on a couple of them. Fresh is always better than frozen but it is very convenient to have some fish in the freezer that I can defrost whenever.
Roasting a whole fish is so easy and delicious. All you have to do is heat up the oven to a high temperature, add a little salt and optional herbs to the fish, and roast it in the oven for about 20 minutes. That's it.
Here is the recipe:

Whole Roasted Red Snapper with Fresh Herb Olive Vinaigrette

For Fish
1 whole red snapper
salt & pepper
fresh herbs for stuffing fish (optional)

For Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs - Chives and Oregano are great
6 black olives, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar (can also use red or white wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper (optional - taste first)

For fish, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash fish, dry, and place on baking sheet (I put it on tin foil so the fish skin does not stick to the baking sheet). If using fresh herbs for stuffing, put them in the fish and salt and pepper the outside of the fish generously.
Roast the fish in the oven for about 20 minutes. The fish should fall from the bone easily when it is done.
For vinaigrette, combine all ingredients and let sit for 20 minutes to 2 hours.
When the fish is done, spoon vinaigrette over it and it is ready to eat.

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